A new wildflower garden to encourage bees and other pollinators has been created at Erddig’s visitors car park.
Earlier this year the National Trust site called in contractors to improve site drainage in the car park to prevent a repeat of last year’s spring floods and property closures.
Key to the plans was ensuring nature-friendly landscaping throughout and keeping a careful eye on the project was Head Gardener Glyn Smith.
The new scheme which launched in March now sees more cars parked on specially designed surfaces in a space that doesn’t spoil the countryside feel when visitors arrive.
General manager, Jamie Watson said: “We believe nature matters, so even in our car park we want wildlife to thrive. We’ve sowed a mix of wildflower seeds to provide vital food for bees and other pollinators. They don’t always grow uniformly, but they do look pretty.
“I might be biased, but I think this is the best car park I’ve ever seen and would challenge anyone to show me a better one.”
Together with support from the Woodland Trust to build in more hedgerows, head gardener Glyn Smith was instrumental in pulling together wildflower beds around the bays and fruit tree planting.
The seeds were purchased from several seed companies, including Pictorial Meadows and Germinal. Pictorial Meadows supplied the seeds that adorned the London Olympic park that were so well received at the time.
Glyn said: “We also had a bit of fun making unique Erddig mixes by adding other hardy annuals. The dark flowered common mallow was something we added in, as was the blue Phacelia, which was just a packet of green manure seeds.
“Green manures are annual seeds that are sown and the plants are later incorporated into the soil to eventually decompose improving the soil by adding organic matter to it.
“Most of the mixes are working well, but we have learned that not all the seeds germinate well in the more shaded areas, or where it is very dry.”
He added: “The response from visitors has been overwhelming.
“It might be the car park, but we care about wildlife in our open spaces, whether it’s the car park or our Victorian parterre bedding scheme.
“It’s really rewarding to see visitors taking photographs before they even get to our ticket office.”
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