The green, green grass of Chipping Sodbury Golf Club in Bristol is now complimented with a carnival of colours including reds, pinks and purples thanks to the introduction of wildflower seed from DLF.
The project is now into its third year and was the brainchild of Deputy Head Greenkeeper Craig Swindells who, together with support from the membership, has successfully introduced 800sq.M of outstanding visual impact together with all-important food and habitat for pollinators and wildlife.
Craig has been at the 18-hole parkland course, situated on the outskirts of the Cotswolds, for the last 12 years and works as part of a greens team of seven including one trainee and two member volunteers.
He explains, “While the trees add great definition to the course, it means we’re very ‘green’ so I presented the idea of planting two new wildflower areas to the committee and they gave us their full support. One member in particular, Geoff McFarland, who shares my passion for ecology was generous enough to fund the project.”
The first seed went into the ground in May 2021 – a combination of Pro Flora 8, comprising of 80% grasses and 20% robust wild flowering species, and Colour Boost 1 (Carnival) for hight-impact annuals. “The weather hadn’t been kind up to that point, but we went from seed to full bloom in under two months and what a bloom we had! Bold bright colours and an abundance of bees and butterflies enjoying the rich food source it provided. We had a wealth of lovely messages and members of the public coming in to have a look.”
“At the end of the first season, we cut back and hand-picked unwanted growth as and when we saw it. Year two we left the areas alone and found we achieved great uptake with the perennials and, as you’d expect, fewer annuals though some did self-seed. It still looked good but like most plants, struggled with the ground being so dry through the summer of 2022. Now, we’re going into year three and we’re overseeding again, this time with Colour Boost’s Biodiversity mix to introduce a wide range of flowering varieties.”
Biodiversity from DLF’s Colour Boost collection blends seasonal annuals, biennials and perennials to appeal to a host of varied fauna, including pollinating insects. The composition of species is wide and ensures suitability to different growing conditions and strong colour, which changes depending on bloom, throughout the season.
“This project has brought so many benefits to the players, the wildlife and even the general public and we really couldn’t have wished for more. The support and guidance from DLF along the way has also been brilliant.” Craig adds, “Having tried other brands of wildflower, we can certainly say that Pro Flora and Colour Boost have given us the very best results, and there’s now great anticipation and excitement to see the outcome of this year’s work.”
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