The olympics have come to a close and I was lucky enough to grab one of those elusive tickets and get into the main park. I’ll admit that when selecting events this was a priority for me, having heard so much about the planting design over the past few years.
It certainly didn’t disappoint, especially considering the terrible weather we have had this year, not ideal for creating the perfect annual meadow or prairie planting scheme.
The Olympic Park is the largest new urban park to be developed in Europe for 150 years. Separated into two main areas, each with a distinctive feel.
The more informal North Park includes wilder planting and a focus on stylized native habitats. While the South Park has a more urban character and aims to wow with a visual feast of dynamic perennials and sweeping meadows.
The meadows have been a major focus of the park and captured the imagination of many who have visited. These were designed by Nigel Dunnet the Professor of Planting Design and Vegetation Technology at the University of Sheffield.
Both native and non native plants have been used with key species including Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), Corn Marigold hybrids (Chrysanthemum segetum), Star of the Veldt (Dimorphotheca aurantiacum), Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) and Tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria).
As well as these more striking areas of the park there are beautiful, tranquil spaces covering a wide range of habitats, wetland planting & rain gardens, woodland underplanting and stunning waterside walkways.
Unfortunately the park will close after the paralympics but will re-open to the public as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in July 2013.