Poppies set to commemorate centenary

Mixes released and planting plans emerge across the country to mark 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

Souvenir: among the latest poppy mixes to be released by Euroflor - image: Euroflor
Souvenir: among the latest poppy mixes to be released by Euroflor - image: Euroflor

Plans are well underway to carpet the UK with poppies for next year's commemoration of 100 years since the start of World War One.

The Royal British Legion launched its Centenary Poppy Campaign this week, aimed at both retail and amenity markets, with £2 packets of Flanders poppy seeds available in B&Q.

Meanwhile, Euroflor launched four mixes this week sold in the UK through Rigby Taylor.

Euroflor UK consultant Howard Wood said: "Our reps are talking to landscapers, local authorities and golf clubs where Euroflor flower mixes have been used successfully and the poppy mixes appear to be a major factor in their plans for 2014."

Pictorial Meadows, supplier to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said it is seeing an increase in orders from councils.

Birmingham is planning to create "a ring of poppies around the city" using Rigby Taylor and Pictorial Meadows mixes on traffic islands, alongside roads and on central reservations, according to head of parks Darren Share. He is bidding for the £10,000 cost from Government money set aside for the commemorations.

Birmingham is also devoting its RHS Chelsea Flower Show stand to World War One. It will relocate to the city for the centenary date - 4 August. Share said: "We're going to have cuts over the next two years and we've already had significant cuts but it's important what wild flowers can do and how they can contribute to agendas."

Telford & Wrekin Council is replacing its scheme of annual Pictorial Meadows wild flower mixes on roundabouts with the company's Lest We Forget and Old Comrades. So far, eight of 26 town and parish councils are paying for extra planting.

The City & County of Swansea is planting poppy wild flower mixes in central locations and giving free seeds to community groups.

In London, Royal Parks St James's and Green Park will plant plugs in established grass near to memorial sites.

Poppies Latest mixes launched on market

Euroflor/Rigby Taylor

Souvenir, a special poppy-heavy mix aimed at Britain and the Commonwealth market.

Bleuet de France, a blue cornflower-focused mix aimed at the French market.

Alliance mix, featuring both poppies and cornflowers.

Hope, a long-flowering perennial mix including poppies.

Pictorial Meadows

Old Comrades, a varied mix dominated by mixed poppies with later-flowering annuals.

Lest We Forget, a combination of flowering Flanders Poppy mixed with much later-flowering Golden Coreopsis to ensure colour into early autumn.

Flanders Field Annual, a pure Flanders poppy mix.

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