Life across UK roundabouts

Pictorial Meadows has helped eight roundabouts across the UK burst into bloom with a profusion of meadow flowers, bulbs and hardy perennials as part of a two year project conceived and funded by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and its philanthropic arm, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
The £130,000 programme is the culmination of a long-term project to celebrate Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s 20 years in the UK. The transformation of roundabouts across the country with beautiful and sustainable urban meadows is the result of two years of careful planning, preparation, planting and tending.
Enterprise engaged with leading experts in meadow technology to bring the project to life and approached the renowned Professor Nigel Dunnett of the Landscape Department at the University of Sheffield to design each location. Dunnett is one of the world’s leading experts in planting design and technology and his work came to national prominence when he created the much talked about meadows for the Olympic Park in 2012.
In partnership with local authorities in Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Swindon and Woking, councils identified suitable roadside locations for the gardens.
The roundabouts were then planted by Pictorial Meadows, pioneers in the commercial development  of hardy seed mixes and turfs that create the naturalistic planting styles developed by the University of Sheffield’s research.
In all, two acres of meadow were planted in the autumn and winter of 2015, together with a range of bulbs, shrubs and flowering species carefully selected for the climate and growing conditions prevalent in each location. Developed by the University of Sheffield and implemented by Pictorial Meadows, a special innovation is the cultivation of assorted ‘pre-grown’ meadow mats at a site in Lincolnshire to provide sufficient meadow for the Enterprise project. The mats were grown off-site to allow for intensive irrigation essential to ensuring the young plants establish a strong root base.
In addition to providing long-lasting displays of colour over several months, the designs and seed mixes used on the roundabouts have been developed to flower year on year with the minimum of care. In fact, the flowering technologies developed by Nigel Dunnett and Pictorial Meadows have been shown to reduce maintenance costs for local authorities, as well as lowering the disruption to traffic required when gardening equipment is taken on site at roundabouts and roadside locations.
The mix of plants at each site also fosters biodiversity and wildlife. They are especially appealing to local bee and butterfly communities, which thrive when the carefully selected plants are in bloom.

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