RHS sow millions of wildflowers as sales boom

Millions of wildflower seeds will be sown throughout the UK next weekend, 14-15 April, to mark the launch of the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign for 2012.

Nova Flore's wildflower seed - 'Passion' - image: Nova Flore
Nova Flore's wildflower seed - 'Passion' - image: Nova Flore

To start to the first National Gardening Week (16–22 April) the initiative aims to help replenish some of the 97 per cent of wildflower meadows lost since 1930.  

Some 2,000 packs of wildflower seeds have been distributed to nearly 1,200 groups, meaning over 20,000 square metres of wildflower meadow will be sown across Britain over a 48-hour period.

The RHS wants to encourage everyone to join in – and they can by typing their postcode into –a map on RHS Online: www.rhs.org.uk/getinvolved.  

‘Wild about Wildflowers’ is a nationwide celebration of Britain’s unsung heroes: more than 200,000 community volunteers throughout the UK who clean up and green-up around 30,000 acres of public space (equivalent to more than 86 Hyde Parks) for the benefit of us all.

Sarah Raven, who presented Bees, Butterflies and Blooms on BBC TV supports the initiative.

"We’re in the process of rediscovering our love for wildflowers so Wild about Wildflowers, is fantastic. Because we have destroyed so much of their natural habitat, it is crucial we restore as many flowers as possible. Our insects have evolved to feed from them and as we destroy more meadows, insect populations will continue to diminish and this is disastrous for the planet.

"We need to love our planet for it to survive and what better way to do this than to engage with it in this way. I can’t wait to see the gorgeous colour that will emerge all over the country over the summer."

The recent wildflower renaissance has produced a surge in popularity of wildflowers. Since the first episode of Bees, Butterflies and Blooms, 272 insect-friendly wildflower packs have been bought from The Wisley Plant Centre at RHS Garden Wisley. During the same period in 2011, no packs were bought.

Individual wildflower-seed packs sales are up 310 per cent from last year, the RHS said, adding there are plans to sow two new wildflower meadows at RHS Garden Wisley this year.

Once the wildflowers are in full bloom groups will be able to record the number of insects they see via an online bug survey created by the RHS in partnership with invertebrate conservation charity, Buglife.

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