Landscape contractors, Commonwealth War Graves Commission staff and UK turf growers have returned from a fact-finding mission to the Euroflor trial grounds at Valence, France.
Rigby Taylor seed research director Brian Robinson and environmental and sustainability manager Howard Wood led the trip to the trial site of Tezier, the flower seed breeders for Euroflor urban meadow mixes.
Head of flower seed development Olivier Auriol explained how various mixes were being trialled for every urban situation, including semi-shade conditions, pollinating insect attraction, and various colour and height combinations.
In the seed cleaning and packing plant the group saw the process from start to finish – seed arrival, cleaning, weighing, germination testing, packing and labelling.
Also based at the site is the Clause vegetable seed research plot where seeds are produced for UK companies such as Sutton and Unwins – and commercial vegetable seed suppliers Nickerson.
Following the Valence trip the group then toured the city centre of Lyon (the largest conurbation in France outside Paris), where Howard Wood has conducted sustainability operations that have made vast savings on maintenance through the planting of Euroflor mixes.
He has also utilised the co-composting of grass, leaf and pruning debris plus organic materials from animal waste to reduce the use of manufactured soil materials.
Stephen Alderton, director of marketing and development for DLF France – who own the Euroflor flower and Top Green grass seed brands – said: “This was an ideal opportunity for UK landscaping industry professionals to see the trials at their best – and to see the results that can be achieved within sustainable environments.”
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