In Kent, Hever Castle Golf Club’s head greenkeeper Rob Peers is a man on a mission: “To encourage visitors to both the golf course and the castle estate to be fully immersed and engaged with the site.”
He is confident that using a variety of Rigby Taylor’s Euroflor urban meadow flower seed mixes will achieve his goal, and integrate the golf course with the castle estate, thus encouraging golfers, partners/guests and castle visitors to be aware the historic site’s offerings.
Built in the 13th century, Hever Castle was originally a country house that came into the hands of Henry VIII who bestowed it on Anne of Cleves in 1540 as part of the settlement following the annulment of their marriage.
“With over 400 acres of golf course and estate, including formal gardens, there’s something here for everyone,” says Rob. He in enthusiastic about biodiversity and environmental issues: “On the greens, we are making the sward as healthy as possible by increased aeration and using more sand rather than chemicals.”
He adds: “Aside from converting unused, largely overgrown plots into colourful and attractive areas for everyone to enjoy, I know that a project like this is great for my greenkeeping team. It raises our skill sets, improves our engagement with the site and lifts job satisfaction levels.”
Several areas of the estate have been made ready for the Euroflor mixes, entailing clearance of grass, brambles and weeds, and a reduction in lake-side reed beds.
A good friend and a fellow head greenkeeper commented on the excellent service from Rigby Taylor’s regional sales director, Mike Ring. Rob says: “I can’t fault Mike’s response, back-up and level of support. Mike also put me in touch with Howard Wood, Top Green’s Euroflor consultant, and it was after a conversation with Howard (a man with more than 35 years’ landscaping/wildflower experience throughout Europe and Africa) that the project gained momentum.
“Howard offered invaluable advice and recommendations on which Euroflor mixes would sit best in the various locations I had identified in terms of colour and height, as well as texture and form. We discussed every plot, in some cases viewing it from afar to judge whether the chosen colours and heights would potentially have the desired impact. Leaning on Howard’s expertise, I’m sure I’ve chosen correctly and now it’s simply a matter of time before we find out!”