Blog

We offer a wealth of knowledge around all things Wildflower

Following its opening in March of this year, Leeds Skelton Lake Services is seamlessly blending into its lakeside environment thanks to its ‘living roof’.

We are no stranger to green roof installations, and Skelton Lake Services has been one of our most interesting, rewarding and unique roof projects to date.

Skelton Lake Services is located on the M1, approximately two miles from the city centre of Leeds. Part of the Extra group, the £64M Motorway Service Area (MSA) was opened in March, just as the rest of the country was shutting down. The timing was opportune as the site was able to provide an essential service to hauliers and key workers at the height of the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the new MSA occupying a lakeside environment within a 40,000m2 ecologically diverse country park, the sympathetic integration of the building was a key design priority. We worked closely with the Landscape Architect, Smeeden Foreman, Wetherby-based Brambledown Landscapes Ltd, and installers ABG Ltd to deliver an enhanced landscape that fits seamlessly into the local environment while also conforming to planning regulations.

Our wildflowers…

Read more

Coronation Park, Helston benefits from the CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge

 

It is always a great privilege to be involved in the CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge and, as in previous years, Wildflower Turf Ltd was the overall prize sponsor at last year’s awards.

Originally launched in 2013, the BIG Biodiversity Challenge invites the construction industry to add at least one new biodiversity enhancement to construction sites, developments, or existing buildings. The BIG Biodiversity Challenge continues to be recognised as the number one industry initiative for raising awareness of, and delivering, biodiversity within construction and the built environment and each year attracts entries from high-profile organisations such as Kier, Heathrow Airport Ltd, Thames Water and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

The 2019 Overall Winner was Cormac Solutions Ltd for Cornwall Council’s Green Infrastructure for Growth programme. Cormac Solutions Ltd was also successful in winning the ‘Project of the Year – medium/large scale Award’ for the same project.

Cornwall Council’s Green Infrastructure for Growth programme has led the way in environmental net gain and worked with local communities to re-think areas of green space. As part of the project, public urban spaces within seven towns have been…

Read more

Here at Wildflower Turf HQ we are constantly striving to improve our offering and providing our customers with the highest quality of Wildflower Turf. Part of this process is something that happens long before the turf even leaves our premises and ensures we are using all the best components we can! Research & Development at our main site in Hampshire is thriving and we continue to develop our understanding and improve our learning, so that we can constantly improve our products and services.

Probably the most fundamental part of our turf is the seeds we use. Seeds are some of the most fascinating parts of a plant, and when you look at them closely they have a beauty all of their own. We work with a wide range of species, the images below show just a few of these and how different the seeds can be.

Plant seeds are complex, and many of them require different optimal conditions to move from dormancy to germination. This is the process we are…

Read more

Back on the 18th June, we hosted a webinar on Biophilic Design and were delighted to have two guest speakers. We were joined by Dr Alia Fadel who lectures on the subject at Leeds Beckett University and Giles Miller of Giles Miller Studios who recognises Biophilic Design in his innovative building and landscape designs.

It was an excellent webinar, Helen and I and all the many that joined the session were left with a greater understanding of the aspirational, inspirational and practical reasons for Biophilic Design from Alia. Then we were shown instances of tried and tested projects where this technique has been used by Giles.

This blog gives a few of the notes I took on this carefully considered and long-standing design initiative that has become very relevant in today’s society – not least with the recent lockdown and resulting interest…

Read more

This month we hand our blog over to Eliza Nicholas, founder of Rocket Garden Design

For those with a garden or any sort of outdoor space nearby, 2020 has given us a new appreciation for sitting, eating, playing or working outside. Amidst the tragedy and confusion that the pandemic has brought, many of us seem to be seeking solace and space in our green surroundings. As a garden designer and gardening workshop host, it has been wonderful to see the interest and excitement from newly inspired gardeners, who are determined to develop green fingers in order to enhance and spend time in their outdoor spaces.

City dwellers, especially in our sunny capital where Rocket is based, are perhaps the most eager of all to introduce more plants and greenery into their homes and tiny patios or roof gardens. One of the most common themes I have noticed is clients asking how they can support wildlife and encourage more insects into their urban spaces. Alongside this, requests are for loose, wild and natural spaces to help them feel more connected to the countryside and nature. Perhaps surprisingly, clients are…

Read more

As Lockdown starts to ease and some form of normality returns we have asked our staff to let us know what living and working in ‘lockdown’ has been like for them.

Claire Hewetson-Brown, Financial Director

 

The last 3 months have been quite challenging from a personal and business perspective.

At the start of the lockdown, I had so many concerns on both fronts and tackling these took a lot of my time and energy.  Making sure that family members were safe and keeping our parents going with food supplies, along with some social contact at a safe distance as they live on their own, was a priority.  But also everyone at Wildflower Turf Ltd; making sure those that needed to work on the farm were in a safe environment and ensure those who were in the office had the necessary kit to enable them to work from home.  Would there be enough enquiries and orders to keep everyone working rather than furloughed and what would we do if several members of the production team became ill at the same…

Read more

As Lockdown starts to ease and some form of normality returns we have asked our staff to let us know what living and working in ‘lockdown’ has been like for them.

Mike Leflay, Farm Manager

March is always a busy time of year for us and having had the wettest winter in living memory the backlog of work on the farm and turf was fairly substantial to say the least, just as the weather began to improve and we were starting to make some dents into the backlog we were faced with lockdown. So how would we manage with the farm workload and turf maintenance if half or a third of our staff had to self isolate or shield? We quickly formulated some plans so that if the worst happened we would be prepared and able to complete all the essential daily maintenance tasks that we need to do such as running our irrigation systems. As the outbreak progressed we then began to think about what we would need to do if the orders for turf started to fizzle out.

In the end none of the things we thought would be a problem really were,…

Read more

In 1970, Joni Mitchell prophetically sang, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, and never has this statement held more truth. COVID-19 has infiltrated our communities and impacted on virtually every aspect of our lives.

With the country still under lockdown, having access to green space has become an increasingly important part of our days and the UK population has sought out the natural landscape as a means of adding calm and creating some solace at what has been a challenging time for everyone.

The impact of outdoor space on health and wellbeing has long been documented. When public green spaces were officially designated in the 19th century, never would our forebears have imagined how crucial these areas would become in helping to buffer the effects of a pandemic in 2020.

If nothing else, the current situation teaches us that it is possible to make huge changes to the way we impact on, and interact with, the world we inhabit. Restrictions on travel, work and industry have meant emissions have decreased…

Read more

Three more weeks of Lockdown – more isolation on an isolated farm near Basingstoke.

What a shock the first three weeks of lockdown were, our immediate thoughts with regards to the business were that we would have to try and keep the farm and turf production going whatever our sales did – we work to seasons and Covid-19 has struck right at the start of our growing season. It always seems to be a very short spring, summer and early autumn and we have to make the most of it. To have had to stop production would have meant no stock for when we do get back to some sort of normality hopefully later in the year. Luckily, we can do this whilst following the Governments guidelines with social distancing and regular sanitising of all equipment.

As for sales, we had no idea if anyone would continue to want Wildflower Turf and it has been a very nervous time. We decided to keep a very close eye on money in and out, with a view to protecting any cash in the business. We didn’t furlough anyone straight away…

Read more

The country may be in lockdown but we hope that this month’s blog brings some joy to your day as we take a look at a special project in Gloucestershire.

 

Cotswold garden design specialists, Graduate Gardeners recently sent us through some thoroughly delightful images of a recent project, and we thought them too good not to share.

With over 40 years’ experience, Graduate Gardeners are a multi award-winning garden design, construction and landscaping company situated near Stroud and working predominantly throughout Gloucestershire.

Based on a two acre site in Bisley, the Graduate Gardeners team provide a full range of garden services including garden design, construction and landscaping.

The project in question is a long-running one, with Graduate Gardeners working with their client to transform an orchard area and garden surrounds on land located in a rural position south-west of Stroud.

Split into phases over several years, the first phase saw Graduate Gardeners trialling Wildflower Turf in a smaller area closer to the client’s main garden, whilst the orchard area itself was seeded. The seeded area established adequately and provided colour throughout the season. However, it…

Read more