Meadow Flowers

Garden

Flower meadows

A new venture, started last year, to bring a polychromatic landscape of meadow flowers to the grounds of Hever Castle is going from strength to strength.

The meadows, which differ from wildflower meadows, were first planted in 2018, and cover an area of 4,500 square metres on Lake Walk (in the Castle grounds) and the Golf Course itself.

They take their inspiration from wildflower meadows in the first instance, but they are ‘planned’ in the sense that seed is sown and mixes are chosen to provide colour for longer.

The Olympic Park in London wowed in 2012 with Nigel Dunnett’s meadows and the trend for using similar seed mixes has spread like seed on the wind.

The project at Hever has been led by Head Greenkeeper Rob Peers and has been supported by the team at large.

The different meadow sites, dotted along the banks of the lake, are improving bio-diversity and functionality in areas which had previously been dominated by aggressive species such as bramble and nettle. The bees and butterflies are loving the flowers and it’s wonderful to see so many buzzing around the grounds this year.

The meadows change and move through the colour palette as the sun moves through its height in June to the misty days of October.

A ‘Rainbow Mix’ has been used beside the Lake this year and includes fourteen species such as Calendula officinalis (Marigold), Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower), Cosmos bipinnatus, Linum grandiflorum (Flax) and Papaver rheas (Common Poppy).

The Anne of Cleves Bower House, has been painted with the ‘Rainbow Mix’ of flowers externally, while a more subtle mix has been used for the inside of the structure and includes species such as Chrysanthemum coronarium, Delphinium Consolida, Dianthus barbatus, Lavatera trimestris, linum perenne.

If you are looking for meadow inspiration yourself, or just love to enjoy a floriferous display, do come and visit these biodiverse sites and see the changing flowers from July to November.

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