Roadside meadows "attract a hundred letters of praise a year"

Urban meadow flower displays in Newport have attracted around a hundred complimentary letters from residents, according to the head of its grounds team.

Euroflor flower meadows alongside the Newport to Cardiff road
Euroflor flower meadows alongside the Newport to Cardiff road

Phillip Evans, supervisor of the street scene city grounds team in the south Wales town, said he and his team of 60 full-time ground maintenance staff and gardeners have been inundated with positive feedback from both residents and neighbouring councils wanting to emulate the colourful floral displays created using Euroflor meadow mixes alongside all the main roads into Newport.

"We have five areas and half a dozen different sites where we have sown the Classic and Rainbow mixes," said Phillip, who has worked for the city council for 25 years.

"Over the last three years we have tried various Euroflor mixes from Rigby Taylor, including perennial, but these two annual mixes have given us consistently good coverage results with cosmos flowers going right into November last year.

"We aim to create a feelgood factor throughout the city and these mixes give us five phases of colour throughout the season."

This year Phillip has added Euroflor Souvenir poppy and cornflower mixes for the commemoration of the start of the First World War.

"We have planted up the Classic mix over 80 per cent of the verges about 10 metres in and the other 20 per cent, closest to the road, will be the Souvenir poppy and cornflower mix," he said.

"We are incredibly proud of the city and it is amazing that the formal bedding areas in the two main parks get about 10 letters of praise a year – while the amenity flower displays get about a hundred."

He says many people call them wildflower areas, but he is quick to point out that the annual flower mixes are not all native and can be found in many gardens.

Each year the roadside areas are cleared and cultivated before sowing takes place in spring.

"We are at the mercy of the wet weather quite often," he said, "but the displays eventually develop to withstand the conditions – and the sustainability is really rewarding."

This year, he added, the wet weather followed by the heat has created ideal conditions for fast grass and weed growth. Mowing has been increased and the street scene team will go round the roadside flower displays to hoe out any weeds before they develop.

Rigby Taylor area technical sales representative Peter Griffiths said: "We are delighted that Phillip and his team have had such great results from our Euroflor mixes.

"The public reaction has been tremendous."

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