At half a mile long, the plantings of the 2012 Gardens in the Olympic Park are a celebration of four biodiverse plant habitats from across the world that have been a major source of plants for UK gardeners over the past 600 years. The gardens represent a shift from the traditional idea of growing individual plants to growing communities of plants that interact with one another and compete for resources.
Lowland wild flowers and moist summer hay meadows provided the inspiration behind the European gardens. Swathes of Deschampsia and Molinia grasses are interspersed with perennials such as Sanguisorba officinalis, Lythrum virgatum and Succisa pratensis. I designed the planting of the European garden in collaboration with Professor Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University.