While well prepared and eager athletes are competing in the 2012 Olympic games, there’s something else stealing the spotlight! Sure, the pitter-patter of runners on the track, the splash of each swim stroke, and the echoes of equestrian events are the still the centre of attention but the Olympic Gardens are also making us hold our breath with excitement.
Conceptualized by James Hitchmough, Nigel Dunnett and Sarah Price, the gardens are a structurally and artistically ambitious project –the largest urban development that Europe has seen in 150 years. Are you ready to keep up with the details?
The London Olympic Gardens are composed of a continuous stretch of plants that is divided into 4 regions. The first, Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia Minor contains plants from such regions and stands to represent the beginning of international travel and trade(1400s). Second, the Temperate Americas region contains lush Japanese anemone, Hostas, Irises and Tiger Lilies –all used to exemplify the plants explorers encountered and collected through their travels. Still keeping track? Third, warm climate and exotic flowers are found in the Southern Hemisphere region while the fourth and last, boasts summer and autumn plants that were found in Temperate Climate regions throughout the 1800-1900s.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the regions represent a timeline that maps out the British Empire throughout the years. But if things weren’t intricate enough already, each region follows a particular and precise layout!
Lush evergreen hedges are used to create a permanent border which, lined by ornamental grasses, enclose the horticultural components of each region. Clearly, the amount of thought and organization that went into creating London’s Olympic Gardens is deserving of a gold medal!