Olympic planting on track for 2012

Planting at Olympic Parkland declared as 'highly encouraging' this year by scheme designer.

The Olympic Parkland planting has been "highly encouraging" in 2011 ahead of next year's games, according to one of the scheme's designers, Professor Nigel Dunnett.

Over the past month, Dunnett has reviewed plantings across the park with University of Sheffield colleague Professor James Hitchmough and landscape designer Sarah Price, with whom he was appointed to create the site's planting scheme.

Dunnett said: "We've been identifying any areas that might need looking at again and, as far as is possible, removing any risk of failure in the plantings for 2012."

The golden meadow plantings had been an outstanding success this year, he added. The meadows, which are made up of cornflowers, marigolds, Californian poppies and prairie flowers, sown especially to flower gold in time for the opening ceremony, have blossomed for second year running.

Meanwhile, the four temperate regions of the 2012 Gardens between the Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Stadium had mixed results.

The Europe and Asia regions, which were planted in summer, had to be cut back resulting in only sporadic flowering this year. Dunnett said he was hopeful that next year they would live up to the success seen in the earlier planted North America and Southern Hemisphere zones.

He added that the gardens were to an extent experimental and some species had not been widely grown in cultivation before. "There may be some vulnerability if we have another severe winter, but backup stocks are being grown to ensure a full display," he reassured.

London 2012 Olympic Park - Planting facts and figures

- More than a quarter of the plants for the 2012 Gardens were not grown commercially in the UK.

- More than 120,000 plants from 250 different species across the world were planted in the four temperate regions.

- More than 10ha of annual and perennial meadows are being created in the Olympic Park.

- A combination of shorter and taller perennial meadows, which require only a single seeding, have been sown across the Olympic Park.

- Planting is close to completion and work is continuing on paths, drainage and seating.

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