Plants get a head start on Olympic stars

Plant life has beaten the starting gun to the Olympics by springing into action a day before the £27m opening ceremony.

Olympic Park design by LDA Design and Hargreaves, lead landscape architect and masterplanner - image: Peter Neal
Olympic Park design by LDA Design and Hargreaves, lead landscape architect and masterplanner - image: Peter Neal
Red-hot pokers and rambling wildflowers are blooming while mature trees and showcase architecture overlook mounds of neatly clipped grass. All of this is reflected in waterways and all of it was captured on camera yesterday by landscape consultant Peter Neal.

The Olympic Park landscape is the creation of LDA Design and Hargreaves with garden designer Sarah Price and Sheffield University professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough. Suppliers included Palmstead Nurseries and other firms involved in the Olympic landscapes include Willerby Landscapes, English Landscapes, Gavin Jones and Waterwise Solutions.

Landscape centres on the 2012 Garden by Price, a half mile stretch of beds celebrating centuries of British gardening with 120,000 plants from 250 different species across the world arranged into four temperate regions.

Newly sown riverbank wildflower meadows, designed by Dunnett, form a ribbon of gold around the Olympic Stadium for tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony.

Other features of the wider Olympic Park include 4,000 new 4 to 7m-high semi-mature trees, with more than 2,000 trees including Wild and Bird Cherry, Ash, Hazel, White Willow, Crack Willow, Alder, Aspen, Holm Oak, English Oak, Rowan, Lime, Field Maple, Sweet Gum and Silver Birch.

The opening ceremony is due to start at 9pm tomorrow night, 27 July, and is expected to be watched on TV by about one billion people.

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