Professor James Hitchmough creates South African Meadow at RHS Wisley

A bit of South Africa is growing in Surrey after London 2012 Olympic Park designer James Hitchmough sowed a meadow with plants from the country at RHS Garden Wisley.

The South African meadow has been inspired by Hitchmough’s World Gardens at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will grow by the glasshouse at the charity’s Surrey garden.

The seed-sown meadow is due to flower this year and by August it should be a blaze of pink Diascia integerrima, designed to complement the established American Prairie Meadow nearby, on which Hitchmough also worked. It is due to come to maturity in three years.

RHS Garden Wisley herbaceous ornamental team leader Sean Harkin said: "It has been an absolute delight to work with James at Wisley again.

"He really is an inspiration to this style of planting and I was blown away by his work at last year's Olympics. Our new meadow will fit in perfectly with the glasshouse landscape and should be a must-see for anyone visiting the garden this summer and in subsequent years."

Some plants are a bit of a gamble as they are more used to the South African climate. Watsonia, Aloe cooperi, Aloe boylei and Helichrysum splendidum might find the climate cold but Hitchmough, who is Professor of Horticultural Ecology at Sheffield University and a former academic in Australia as well as Scotland is well-placed to predict which plants will thrive.

 

 


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