Grow for Gold – A Garden for the Games in London

Thousands of people across the UK have already signed up to be London 2012 ‘Local Leaders’ who will bring friends, families and neighbours together to celebrate the Olympic Games. The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has now announced ideas and expert tips on how green-fingered Local Leaders and gardening novices alike can ‘Garden for the Games’.

Gardeners of all levels of abilities and experience can visit london2012.com/localleaders for advice on how to ‘Grow for Gold’ by filling the window boxes and hanging baskets on their street with golden marigolds, the London 2012 colours or the national colours of their favourite team competing in the Games.

Local Leaders can also find out how to grow their own patch of bee-friendly wildflowers like the spectacular golden meadows that will surround the Olympic Stadium during the Games and get tips from expert gardener Phil Turvil on how to create floral Olympic Rings or the Paralympic Agitos in their garden.

Gardeners are already taking up the opportunity to encourage local people to enjoy the Games and gardening together. To welcome the Olympic Torch-residents at Portesham in Dorset are planting golden marigolds while children at a nursery in Essex are creating the Olympic Rings out of painted tyres filled with flowers.

LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: “We are a nation of gardeners and Local Leaders are using London 2012 as an opportunity to get friends, family and neighbours together to brighten up their area and build on our proud gardening heritage. Garden for the Games is a chance for the green-fingered to show off their skills and novices of all ages to learn about gardening and wildlife in their neighbourhood.”

Des Smith, Head Gardener for the London 2012 Gardens in the Olympic Park, said: “Whether you are planning to celebrate the Games with either the Olympic Rings, the Paralympic Agitos or backing Team GB with a red, white and blue floral display, you can get advice and support from your local garden centre or nursery and pick the most pollen-rich, bee and butterfly-friendly flowers.”

Garden for the Games is part of the London 2012 Local Leaders programme, an Organising Committee first which invites people across the UK to bring friends, family and neighbours together and create their own Games celebrations.

Further information: london2012.com

 

Garden at a stretch
New: Garden isles prefabricated

The Gartenio company from Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) demonstrates what the future of horticulture could possibly look like: The Gartenio-Pearls! With these patent pending pearls, they bring pre-installed garden worlds on the market.

Within a couple of hours, the Gartenio-Pearls can be installed in every garden or roof garden. The choice of garden isles ranges from paved and planted seating areas over a kitchen garden to a little island including a canopied beach chair and even a small beach.

The Gartenio-Pearls fit into almost any garden, as they are available in S, M and L, i.e. from 2.25 x 2.25 metres to 4.5 x 4.5 metres). It took a long time and was a fiddly job until the innovative concept could be realised. The results are wooden boxes with a special mounting, which allows an uncomplicated and safe transport. The garden worlds are being built into these boxes and then forwarded to the client. There they are conveyed to their final destination in the garden by wheel loader or mobile crane. Usually, this does not take any longer than two hours.

Further Information: gartenio.de

Gardening is the New Luxury

All leisure activities have their time. The current trend is gardening, says futurologist Matthias Horx of the Future Institute in Kelkheim (Germany). However, gardening today differs a lot from what it used to be in former times. Today it is a kind of luxury.

The leisure industry has always been earmarked by activities that followed the latest trends. Crafting, cooking or even specific types of sport, as for instance jogging or aerobic dance, had their times in which everyone, who wanted to appertain, joined in. Currently gardening is the trendy leisure activity. The interest in nature and environment has grown strongly over the past 30 years and brought about people wishing “to let something grow”. Furthermore, says Horx, gardening satisfies aesthetic needs. There are simply no limits set to the amateur gardener’s creativity and thus, a modern garden always reflects a bit of its owner’s personality. The supplying industry, from garden chairs and lawn mowers to plants, has adapted itself to the amateur gardeners’ high demands for design and supplies everything the heart of a modern gardener could wish for. Be it Home Gardening, which integrates nature and garden into everyday life, or be it Urban Gardening, which creates wonderful nature experiences even on the smallest balcony, everything is possible, because there are equipment, accessories and plants matching each and every idea. This high degree of individuality does not just turn the garden into a unique part of nature; it also makes it a very personal piece of luxury. According to the Future Institute the new cult of garden and gardening will be very long-lasting.

It may be small, but it’s mine – and it’s fun!

The majority of gardens in the UK are small, but nevertheless Britons are proud of their gardens and, by all means, their gardening skills.

The average size of a small garden is up to 2,000 square feet (200 square metres), which applies to 43 % of all gardens in the UK. Not more than 16 % are described as medium sized gardens (up to 4,000 square feet/400 square metres) and just 10 % of all British gardens are large or very large, with the latter exceeding the size of four tennis courts or 10,000 square feet (1,000 square metres). While the number of small to very large gardens did not change much over the past five years, there is a rising interest in allotments/communal gardens. Today, with 11 % of British gardens being communal gardens, there are more allotments than large gardens in the UK.

The older the gardeners become, the more knowledgeable they are of gardening. 49 % of the people in their late fifties/early sixties say that they are very good or quite good gardeners. But even more experienced gardeners are those older than 65 years, as 60 % of them claim to be really good at whatever they do in their gardens. Although the gardening skills may differ, there is one thing that all these gardeners have in common: They really enjoy what they’re doing! The number of people who don’t care for their gardens themselves matches the figure of large or very large gardens. Some 10 % leave the gardening to a professional gardener. Could this fact possibly indicate that, “The smaller the garden, the more fun”?

Denmark, the land of garden parties

Danes are known for their Scandinavian laid-back mentality coupled with a strong joy of living. Their gardens play a vital role in their social life, because it is their favourite location to assemble, dine, drink and just enjoy the good things in life with friends and family. This, however, requires a special type of garden.

Due to the northern European weather conditions, Danes make full use of their gardens mainly in the summer months. The preferred Danish garden is a mixture of a social garden, a lush garden and a kitchen garden. By all means, the social aspect is being together with friends, family and neighbours outdoors. Therefore, the garden must have a pleasant ambience, and the Danish gardeners like it lush. The gardens are often colourful with playful designs and interesting artistry. The Danes tend to buck the trend and so their gardens usually reflect the nature and personality of their owners rather than any trend from a glossy garden magazine. Besides the social and lush aspects, the Danish garden must also provide enough room for growing herbs and vegetables. Unlike kitchen gardens in most other countries around the world, the Danes love experimenting with new variants of herbs and vegetables. For them, kitchen gardening is more than simply growing their own food, it is living the passion for the fine things in life: enjoying food and drink in good company. This is also reflected in most Danish blog posts and last but not least in the spending on gardening and outdoor living. On average the Danes spend 183 Euros (237 $) on their garden, which is the second highest spending per head and year on garden equipment in Europe.

More Information: newsroom.husqvarna.com