As a result of the “fantastic success” of its displays of Rigby Taylor’s Euroflor urban meadow flower seed mixes, Kent-based stately home Hever Castle has not only expanded the total area planted this year to more than 5,000 m2, but it has also launched a retail scheme where ‘ready-to-sow’ flower seed kits are available for purchase by visitors.
The meadow flower project on the 400-acre estate, which includes an adjoining golf course, was initiated last year by Hever Castle Golf Club’s head greenkeeper Rob Peers to “encourage visitors to both the golf course and the estate to fully enjoy and be immersed by and engaged with the complete site”.
He says the project “has been an overwhelming success” with the nine meadow areas – throughout the castle grounds and on areas of the golf course – which feature a wide range of flower species, attracting laudatory comments from visitors in person, in the local press and on social media. Each display is accompanied by an information board about ‘creating your own meadow’.
The Euroflor seed mixes (from Top Green, the largest seed producer in Europe) were selected in terms of being ‘best fit’ options in terms of colour and height, as well as in texture and form, and Rob says particular success has been enjoyed with four mixes - Meadow Breeze, Rainbow Annuals, Bleuet de France and Classic that give displays that will last through the summer and into October/November.
Commenting, he says: “The main lesson we took from our experience last year was that preparation is the key to success: it is imperative to have the plot as clean and clear as possible at the point of sowing. That said, we do also offer the ‘lay down and plant’ FloraFleece biodegradable matting Euroflor option, which eliminates the need for extensive soil preparation.
“This year’s weather has been completely different to that of 2018 - we’ve had so much rain and a lot less sun than we did in May and June last year. So, not surprisingly, the results have been very different.
“But visitor reaction has again been very positive and in response to many enquirers’ asking ‘how can we have similar displays’, we now offer ‘ready to sow’ seed packs as well as the ‘lay down and plant’ matting package – both with instructions - for easy-to-achieve colourful displays.”
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