Pictorial Meadows

Pictorial Meadows originated from a long and productive partnership between the University of Sheffield and The Green Estate Community Interest Company. This collaboration between landscape designers, greenspace managers, ecologists and horticulturalists has led to an exciting new era of naturalistic, sustainable and designed approaches to landscape planting.

Pictorial Meadows were developed originally as a high value yet low maintenance alternative to mown grass and ornamental floral borders, both of which are resource heavy. They are not only designed for improved environmental resilience, but to be especially attractive and valuable for pollinators and people. These meadows have an exceptionally high floral content, as well as an extended and very varied flowering period. The many forms of flower and foliage, plus almost daily changes in colour and form literally buzzing with life, provides an especially rich sensory experience, where people can immerse themselves close to nature and within the meadows.
Pictorial Meadows seeds and turf mixes comprise a diversity of over 100 varieties and 100% flowers, which provides considerable climate resilience. The plants originate from a wide geographical area and whilst many are UK natives, the inclusion of wildflowers from more diverse climatic conditions are extending meadow resilience to the increasingly extreme weather incidents. We have seen our meadows thrive without irrigation in our increasingly hotter and drier summers. Having also been tested for survival in coolers damper winters of Northern England, they also thrive across Scotland and as far north as Finland.

The breadth of species introduced in our mixes means that in every conceivable micro habitat there will be a dynamic adaption going on within the overall community, that can flex and adapt within the changing climate and local conditions. Alternatively, Pictorial Meadows can offer a tailormade service, where a seed or turf mix can be created and adapted for a specific project. A continuing relationship with the University of Sheffield’s Landscape department results in the integration of former students into the growing Green Estate team, which remains an important part of its ongoing success. It has been these relationships that have enabled hybrid schemes such as the ‘Stitch Planting’ concept showcased as part of the Olympic Park design, to be used commercially. Sheffield’s ‘Grey to Green’ approach using planted meadows on deep gravel-based substrates, was initially informed by PhD researcher Michael Livingstone. Our work has had a real impact on the development and use of designed meadows in the built environment.

Our meadows consultancy service will ensure that your project receives the best solution and is successfully delivered, as well as the long-term management of the meadows. So, if you require assistance with planning a meadow, are looking for innovative approaches to increasing biodiversity or seeding a bespoke meadow mix, our team of meadow specialists can assist with solutions for your project that balance affordability with beauty and climate resilience.

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