Sheffield Professor develops flower project for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Written by Luke Gyesi-Appiah

A University of Sheffield gardening expert is helping create a “Superbloom” project to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary.

Professor Nigel Dunnett is responsible for the planting and horticulture, which will involve sowing seeds into the Tower of London moat in the spring of 2022.

There are 15 different colour-themed seed mixes, and around 20 million of them are being sown in order to create a “wonderful impressionistic blends of colours” according to Professor Nigel.

He said: “it’s both thrilling and exciting, but also slightly terrifying, to be involved with this transformation around the Tower of London – a building that is recognised around the world.”

Professor Dunnett trialled the seeds in parks and housing estates across Sheffield.

He noted the collaborative nature of the project, as the seeds were developed on Green Estate ltd, a Sheffield social enterprise organisation that will also be involved in the sowing of the seeds.

The project started at the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, and Professor Dunnett’s work there has led to the creation of a highly successful company.

Professor Dunnett said: “Pictorial Meadows is a seed company that I set up as a University of Sheffield company to sell and market the seed mixes that I’d developed through my research – there was so much demand for them!

Pictorial Meadows is now the UK’s leading supplier of designer meadow seed mixes, and is now owned by Green Estate.”

Professor Nigel hopes that the work he does will have a positive impact on UK gardening. He said: “We hope the Tower of London Superbloom will inspire communities and places around the country to make their own similar Superbloom transformations.”

He said: “Sheffield has developed a reputation, not just as the UK’s greenest city, but also for its very innovative greening within the city. I hope Sheffield can build upon this reputation.”


Written by Luke Gyesi-Appiah

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