Poppies, cornflowers and North African scarlet flax sway in the breeze, bumblebees and butterflies go about their business and field mice scurry around. The roundabout is a kaleidoscope of colour, wilder and nicer to look at than any number of tired-looking council bedding efforts.
It’s the work of landscape designer Brita von Schoenaich, who for the first time has had her efforts sanctioned by authorities. In late April, with the help of Transport for London, which rotovated the soil for free, she and a small team scattered just under £300 worth of seed across the space, a mixture of native annuals and plants from North America, Africa and Europe.
The German-born Schoenaich has attempted this project twice before, with mixed results. In 1996, she had the idea to use the wasted green space for an innovative urban gardening project. “We wrote to the authorities,” she says. “And they wrote back saying 'we don’t have any money’. Then we wrote again saying we’d raised the funds, and they wrote back saying it was too dangerous. So we just went ahead and did it.”
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21st Century solutions meet 21st Century challenges