Pictorial Meadows was born 20 years ago, out of an intensive research programme, initially undertaken by Professor Nigel Dunnett of the University of Sheffield – the world’s leading centre on naturalistic planting. The initial project was to develop beautiful meadows that would thrive on average garden soils. These would not need the ‘starvation’ regime normally associated with traditional wildflower meadows. A radically different approach to meadow landscapes emerged which combined ecology with design. Experimental plots established in Sheffield, provided a way to continually improve designs. The bed also enabled research into the care and establishment of meadows, allowing them to become accessible to everyone.
Since 2004 Pictorial Meadows has been part owned by the University of Sheffield and social enterprise, Green Estate. The company is made up of landscape architects, researchers, horticulturalists and landscape managers with services from consultation to implementation and maintenance. Over 200 councils, hundreds of commercial organisations, sporting arenas and land owners regularly buy their products.
The Pictorial Meadows team have pioneered creating unique planting compositions using carefully composed recipe’s that allow complex but well structured meadows to not only establish successfully but to go on to improve year on year. They build compositions with a high percentage of fine foliage and dainty flower heads but deliberately exclude most grasses and bulky flower forms from mixes as they quickly swamp out the more desirable species.
The mix for the A391 in St Austell was created specifically for the site to maximise the geographic location and Cornish climate.
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