Roundabouts set to bloom in national wildflower meadow initiative

The University of Sheffield Department of Landscape, Pictorial Meadows and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are bringing sustainable wildflower meadows to urban roundabouts across the country.

Wildflowers. Image: MorgueFile
Wildflowers. Image: MorgueFile

The £130,000 project will transform roundabouts in Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Swindon, Liverpool and Woking. The initiative will be funded by Enterprise and the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company.

The roundabout project will combine a whole range of techniques and methods to achieve striking transformations. Robust perennial plants, vigorous shrubs and colourful bulbs are combined with seed mixes of colourful annuals and perennials, specially selected for climate and growing conditions.

Dunnett explained: "Wildflower meadows are now very popular in urban areas but what we are doing is a different story altogether. We're creating very dynamic and dramatic plantings that combine a whole range of different techniques to create visually spectacular effects. We're taking the meadow look and extending it in ways that have never been applied at this scale before, or in this range of locations."

A special innovation is the cultivation of two acres of assorted 'pre-grown' meadow mats at a site in Lincolnshire to provide sufficient meadow for the Enterprise project. The mats are cultivated off-site to allow for intensive irrigation essential to ensuring the young plants establish a strong root base.

Following careful preparation of the ground, the plants, seeds and meadow mats will be put in place in the autumn of 2015.

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