The specification for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was so "spookily" inch-perfect the completed landscape looked almost exactly like the early computerised images, according to the landscape architect overseeing its evolution.
Dr Phil Askew said: "The weird and spooky thing about the completed park is it turned out to be true to the original vision, which is a testament to the great design work and specification.
"We wanted to build it once and once only. What we created was pretty much what was said on the tin."
Speaking at a PlantNetwork conference at Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Dr Askew added: "The park became the hero of the whole place and people were surprised by what they found."
Acting director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden Dr Tim Upson agreed. He described the park as the "unsung hero of the Olympics".
The site, which used to boast Europe's largest fridge mountain and scrap cars, was turned into a rolling "modern picturesque" landscape that is sculptural but with naturalistic planting. Hargreaves Associates and LDA Design led the project.
Dr Askew, who worked for the Olympic Delivery Authority and is now project sponsor for the London Legacy Development Corporation, said the size of the park in summer 2014 will be double what it was for the 2012 Olympics. Half of this is brownfield land, with green roofs, wetland spaces and grasslands "plugged" into the site to create interesting places for visitors.
He said: "We wanted the right plants for the right places and the right soil. We grew wetland plants on matting to put in place like a jigsaw. Trial plots helped us finesse a 7ha wild flower meadow, one of the largest pre-sown meadows ever."
"As a planning requirement, we had to do a 10-year management and maintenance strategy for the park, and we continue to refine it. This is a very different type of park, with a variety of biodiverse areas - it is dynamic, not static, so needs a different approach than simply cutting grass and hedges because people interact with the landscape."
Dr Phil Askew, project sponsor for parklands and public realm, London Legacy Development Corporation