Garden Route creates a riot of colour along busy Cornish road

3 minute read
Garden Route creates a riot of colour along busy Cornish road

Published at 9:50am 28th May 2020. (Updated at 9:51am 28th May 2020)

A new 7,000 square metre meadow of wildflowers and garden cultivars is going into bloom along a busy Cornish road.

The project is the first of its kind for Cornwall and borders the A391 between the Pinetum Garden junction and the Carluddon roundabout near St Austell.

The delivery of the Wildflower Corridor and Perennial Meadow Garden is a collaboration between the Austell Project and Cornwall Council’s Making Space for Nature programme - in partnership with the National Wildflower Centre at the Eden Project.

After many months of careful planning and consultation, the first phase of groundwork to bring to life the the new Wildflower Corridor began back in September 2019 – followed by 4,000 square meters of specialist turf being laid in early March, by the Making Space for Nature team, just prior to lockdown.

The turf, which is peppered with a mix of perennials and pollinators, was created by leading horticulture experts Pictorial Meadows especially for the A391 site in St Austell.

Unseen anywhere else, the incredible mix of flora is designed to create a sustainable community of plants, that support each other, to offer a year-round floral bloom – brightening the gateway road into the town with a welcome splash of colour.

The plants include St John’s Wort, Evening Primrose, Orange Hawkweed and Purple Coneflower amongst others, have been hand selected for their pleasing aesthetics but also because they’re particularly good for creating a biodiverse habitat to attract bees, butterflies and dragonflies.

It’s hoped the meadows will also provide cover and food for birds, small mammals and amphibians. Uncut meadow patches will be left as refuge areas for creatures to shelter in over winter months.

The meadow verges will be managed with an annual autumn cut, to reduce fertility and ensure continued diversity of flower species. Cuttings will be collected and removed, leaving a healthy sward ready to grow again each springtime – to encourage a striking annual bloom.

In September the project is due to be extended, with additional native wildflower seeds being sown, to create a 2.5km wildlife corridor between the Tregrehan Mills and Treverbyn roundabouts. A footpath/cycleway runs alongside much of the verge, allowing up-close contact with nature and enjoyment of the visual display.

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In addition, planting at other Garden Route sites also began earlier this year with the introduction of Magnolia, Ginkgo, Honey Locust and Cockspur Thorn trees and Hydrangeas plants at the junction of Porthpean and Duporth roads and the area joining Charlestown and Holmbush roads.

Local garden designer Darren Hawkes is overseeing the curation of the Garden Route, on behalf of the Austell Project. An initiative, led by St Austell Bay Economic Forum, which seeks to reimagine the town and its hinterland as a more vibrant place to live, work and play for local people.

Further locations across the town are also set to house horticulture installations including silver birch trees, wildflowers and newly commissioned art sculptures as work continues (when possible) throughout 2020.

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