Located in the London 2012 Garden that stretches along the riverside for half a mile between the Aquatics Centre and Olympic Stadium, they are a colourful interlude while final preparations are underway to seed acres of nectar-rich annual meadows that are designed to flower during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 250-hectare Olympic Park is Britain’s largest new urban park for more than a century and has been created on land that has been cleaned and cleared of contamination, waste and aggressive species of weeds. More than 45 hectares of green space, including woodland and wildlife habitats, will double after the Games as the Olympic Park Legacy Company takes ownership of the site.
Dennis Hone, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, says: “With the parklands that have been created starting to flower, it is hard to imagine that they have emerged from an industrial site that was not only contaminated, but almost impossible to access in parts because of overgrowth, weeds and fly-tipping. It is a tribute to the companies and individuals who worked on the project that this could be achieved. Their hard work will be enjoyed for many years to come as a new public park is created.”
Seb Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, says: “There is a spring in our step as we work to get the Olympic Park ready to host the greatest sporting event on earth. The colourful and vibrant park will celebrate the finest UK gardening talent which we hope will inspire the rest of the country’s 26 million gardeners to ‘Garden for the Games’ to show off their green-fingered skills.”
‘Local Leaders’ are getting together to celebrate the Games and brighten up their window boxes, gardens and community areas this summer with golden marigolds and wildflowers and red, white and blue displays. Gardeners of all levels of abilities and experience can visit www.london2012.com/localleaders for advice on how to ‘Grow for Gold’.
Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, says: “The Olympic Park is the first public park to be created in Europe for 150 years. It will be a fantastic, free lasting legacy of the Olympic Games that people will be able to enjoy for many years to come. Legacy plans are further ahead than any previous host Olympic city. After the Games an enormous amount of work will be done to transform the park, doubling the amount of green space by developing areas of natural beauty as well as landscaped gardens.”
Images copyright/credit: LOCOG.