Home   Homes and Gardens   Article

Down to Earth: Plant a legacy for the Jubilee




For Cambridge garden designer Robert Barker, the Queen’s Jubilee is a prompt to plant a legacy for the planet, whether woodland or wildflower meadow

Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986111)
Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986111)

So here we are at Midsummer, a major landmark on our journey through the year. June is a month loaded with all sorts of significance, especially in 2022 as, unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know we are celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The milestone – the first time a British monarch has marked 70 years on the throne – will be celebrated in many different ways, but it is especially nice to see it celebrated so heavily in horticulture.

Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986008)
Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986008)

From special events at National Trust and Royal Horticultural Society gardens and flower shows to long lasting tributes such as the Plant A Tree for the Jubilee legacy, which has been set up by the National Garden Scheme and Woodland Trust to create the Queen’s Green Canopy across the United Kingdom, this is to be applauded whether you are a Royalist

or not.

One tribute that I am looking forward to seeing in particular is the Superbloom at the Tower of London. In spring, more than 20 million seeds were planted in the moat that surrounds the historic tower, promising to bring a spectacular natural beauty to the urban environment and introduce a new biodiverse habitat for wildlife too.

Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986027)
Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986027)

Not only should this look amazing, but it is of interest to me as I have been experimenting with wildflower turf recently in my own garden.

The previous owners of the house that we are now in were clearly not gardeners, so we inherited a complete blank canvas in the front and back garden with the only living thing in each being a lawn.

Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986025)
Plant a legacy, whether woodland or wildflower meadow, to mark the Jubilee (56986025)

I addressed the back garden as soon as possible, but it has taken me years now to address the front as I have been tied up with so many other projects. My wife and I have been chipping away bit by bit each year by introducing yew hedging and large borders, but for some reason the lawn remained.

Finally in the autumn last year, I had my fill of mowing a lawn that served no purpose, so we replaced it with wildflower turf. For months it has looked like a large area covered in weeds. I’d imagine the sight provided the neighbours with more ammunition to think I have lost the plot, but now that the summer has arrived it looks spectacular.

It has been wonderful to see it evolve, and I can’t help but admit it gives that additional bonus of making you feel smug that you are giving such much needed help to the local wildlife.

See robertbarkerdesign.com for more.


Read more

More by this author