Wildflowers CAN be enjoyed in cities

A children’s’ nursery in Peckham, South East London is doing its bit for the Environment by installing a wildflower roof.  Little Jungle Nursery in Peckham has limited outdoor space but is making the most of it by growing native plants on top of their buggy shelter.

buggy shed in busy urban street with wildflower roof

The buggy shed in a busy urban residential area brings a little bit of greenery into a largely builtup area

Little Jungle offers daycare facilities for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers between the ages of 1 and 5 years.  The organisation has a strong environmental ethos and believes strongly that an appreciation of nature begins in early childhood.

Setting an example to us all

Director Tarek El-Semman explained “As a nursery we are really green and are trying to do our bit for the environment.  Our parents and staff sign up to our green living policy and recycle everything that we can.  Adding a living roof to our boring buggy shed which is basically on the pavement was a no brainer.  Firstly to bring some much needed greenery to this side of Peckham but also as a statement of our green credentials.”

wildflower green roof viewed from above

Viewed from above, this newly installed wildflower roof shows how densely populated Meadowmat wild flower mat is.  This picture was taken in May just 2 weeks after installation.  Already one can just see daisies bursting into flower..

The idea of a living roof was suggested by one of the parents, who is an architect.  Tarek did some research online and discovered Enviromat sedum matting.  The phone number led him to a conversation with Chris Carr, Harrowden Turf’s National Sales Manager who suggested that Meadowmat wild flower turf as an alternative to sedum matting.

Wildflowers are not difficult to grow

Meadowmat is a pre-grown blanket of wildflowers and grasses.  It is produced on Harrowden Turf’s nursery in Norfolk.  When it is delivered to customers, the plants are already growing strongly.  All the customer needs to do is unroll it onto prepared soil (or in this case a roof with added growing medium) and keep it well watered until the plants establish.  Depending on the time of year it is installed, gardeners could start to see blooms within a matter of weeks.

There are five different varieties of Meadowmat to choose from.  Based on the location of the nursery, Tarek chose “Woodland Shade”.  This contains 38 species of plants that are native to the UK and can tolerate the lower light conditions of a built up area.  It has a long flowering period and so benefits bees and other insects for at least six months of the year.  Tarek tells me that within days there were bees and other insects visiting the roof.

Wildflower green roof - a conversation piece that is good for the environment

But what of the parents and children?  Apparently they love their green roof buggy shed and are fascinated by the greenery, the growth and the life it exudes.  It certainly attracts attention and is a great conversation piece.

Chris Carr from Harrowden Turf said “This is the sort of project I love.  It’s not about ticking boxes on a planning application, it stems from a genuine desire to help the environment.  Little Jungle Nursery may not have created a massive green roof but it is a green roof that will touch a great many lives. This is a great way encourage people to pay more attention to understanding and working with nature and sets an example to us all.”

 

More about Meadowmat Varieties

 

Teaching children about wild flowers

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