Botanical Olympics for London 2012

Since no one can match the spectacular architecture of the China Olympics 2008, particularly in these tough economic times, Britain is looking elsewhere to make its mark for 2012. Their choice: great gardens and a Botanical Olympics. Britain has a horticultural tradition that set the pace for the western world, hence the announcement that there will be a half-mile long botanical garden as the focal point. Inspired by Britain’s five centuries of collecting plants from around the world, the park will be a lasting legacy for the community after the games are finished.

The park will be located between the main stadium and the aquatic centre designed by the architect Zaha Hadid (one effort to make a big architectural splash). It will include flowering meadows, thousands of native woodland trees and several hills on which spectators will be able to watch events on giant screens. The newly-announced botanical section will be at the main entrance. It will be divided into four geographic zones, representing Europe and the Mediterranean, the Americas, Asia and the southern hemisphere.

It sounds very complicated: "the four zones of the garden will be separated by bridges across Waterworks River, a branch of the River Lee, which has been made navigable to large barges. It will take visitors through four periods of garden history, inspired by the great British plant collectors.

People will be able to walk from western Europe and the Mediterranean in the 14th-17th centuries, via America in the 17th and 18th centuries, through plants from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand in the 18th-19th centuries, and finally Asia and the Far East in the 19th and 20th centuries."

This huge project has been awarded to Sarah Price who is only 28 years old and a 3 time winner at the Chelsea Garden Show (pictured) and Hampton Court. She has won out over some serious gardening celebrities who must be very miffed. She will be working with the designer George Hargreaves, who also designed the open spaces for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. BBC News
More on Gardens and the Olympics
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Local Allotment Gardens Under Threat
Chelsea Flower Show

Tags: Communities | Conservation | Gardening | London

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