Following extensive successful trials at golf clubs in the UK, specialist seed agent Rigby Taylor in partnership with seed breeder Top Green launch EUROFLOR urban flower seed mixtures at BTME, Harrogate.
Brightening up the golf course, natural floral cultivars are mixed with wild flower species to provide horticultural excellence. These mixes help to provide areas which will give back to nature what has often been taken away by the destruction of natural habitats. Attracting wildlife throughout their long-flowering period from late spring well into the autumn they offer animals and insects cover and an extended food source.
Brian Robinson, Seed Research Director at Rigby Taylor, says: “Euroflor mixtures provide a new solution for environmental flower displays at golf clubs.
“They look great at entrances to the course, around the clubhouse and can be used to brighten up car parking areas. They also encourage biodiversity on areas of the course itself as wildlife is supported for a far longer period. Trials have been a great success and feedback from clubs, their members and the public have been amazing.”
All the preparation required with Euroflor is a clean seed bed and then seed can be sown directly into the selected sites in a sand mix at 3-4g per square metre. Sowing can take place from mid-March to the end of May and may be staggered for later flowering. Irrigation during the first three weeks will only be required if conditions are dry.
Great results do not take long – flowers starting to appear within six weeks, depending on the mixture selected. And then a profusion of flowers will be maintained from late spring right up to the first frosts.
Through trials and tests at 18 UK sites Euroflor has been found to be highly successful on varying ‘normal’ soil types – including loam, sand, clay, stoney and slightly acidic to alkaline soils with a pH of 6 to 8. These colourful mixtures have also performed well on steep slopes but here the sowing rate needs to be increased to 5g per square metre to allow for run-off.
Virtually no maintenance is required on the 14 hand-selected mixtures being introduced which include: Ground Cover, Rainbow Annual Display, Drysec, Honey, Spring Flower, Cottage Garden, Sarah Bouquet, Reclamation; together with dedicated Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue, White – or any mixture of these to replicate a club’s corporate image. Some perennials are included in certain mixtures but annuals and bi-annuals make up most of the species.
Benefits over wild flower plantings include the significantly longer flowering period and enhanced flower performance.
Scoring high over bedding plants, carbon footprints will be considerably reduced because of the lower inputs. They do not require heated glasshouses to bring on the plants, potting-on, fertilisers or regular irrigation. And on the conservative side, Euroflor mixtures are at least five times cheaper to install and maintain than traditional flower beds.
Stephen Alderton, Marketing and Development Director at Top Green, adds: “These low maintenance flowering areas are a highly attractive proposition for golf clubs, especially when sustainability and biodiversity are key concerns.
“They also provide the most spectacular results.”
Justin Austin, Course Manager at Trethorne Golf Club, has been delighted with the successful sowing of the Euroflor flower seed mixtures supplied by Rigby Taylor.
“Members and visitors have taken great pleasure from the Euroflor areas,” says Justin. “Enquiries have been received from companies including Walkers crisps and Pepsi, together with individual members.”
Trials at Trethorne included extensive plots at the entrance to the club, together with areas of rough and by paths where they grew among natural flower species to add greater colour and diversity of form.
“After the initial seed bed preparation and sowing, the maintenance requirements of these environmental flora mixes are very low,” adds Justin.
Keith Kemp is Head Greenkeeper at the West Cornwall Golf Club. Here the course looks over magnificent views to St Ives Bay and Hayle Harbour and Keith trialled Euroflor flower mixes by the 2nd, 5th and 13th tees, together with a steep bank.
He says: “I had to lightly water seed on the steep bank three days after sowing because the soil was drying out there. The first flowers appeared after five weeks and it was a carpet of flowers within eight weeks. Euroflor changed dull areas into real focal points and the wildlife it has brought in has been tremendous.”
Rigby Taylor www.rigbytaylor.com