Gold Medal Landscape

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Velodrome Yesterday I had a real treat. I was given a preview of the landscaping for the Olympic Park in London and I'm delighted to say it looked amazing.

Until now, all the attention has been on the buildings, which are breathtaking, but the landscaping is just as special.

Close to the Olympic Stadium, Sarah Price (designer of two of our QVC gardens at Chelsea) has worked with colleagues to create four planting areas, each representing a different continent.


We were shown the North American Prairie, which was shimmering in late summer colour. A staggering 65,000 plants which were put in very densely just a few months ago, at 12 plants per square metre, were already looking stunning.

Chatting to Sarah, I was delighted to hear that she's been given one of most sought after jobs for garden designers - designing the garden for the Daily Telegraph at the Chelsea Flower Show next May. What with that and the Olympics, she'll shortly be one of the most talked about garden designers in the World. And she said none of this would have happened without QVC!

A few hundred metres away the designers have created an astonishing parkland, a beautiful green space bordering the River Lea and close by the incredible Velodrome (pictured).

Apparently when a group of Brazilian dignitaries visited recently, they were expecting the typical Olympic landscape design of wonderful buildings with acres of paving and hard landscaping. So, they were staggered and thrilled by our parkland, which will be a huge asset not only to the Olympics but also the future generations of Londoners who will inherit it. 

The only fly in the ointment is the 'Great British Garden', designed by children via a Royal Horticultural Society competition. The children have done very well, but the RHS should be ashamed of themselves. They've foisted on us a garden designed by a committee which lacks what many of us would consider the essence of a beautiful British garden. It's dull and boring. So much for our proud horticultural heritage – a David Austin rose garden would have served us much better!

But the rest of the landscaping in the Park is a triumph and we should all be very proud of it.

Happy gardening

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