Superbloom is a large wildflower meadow that was planted in the Tower’s moat earlier this year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The floral moat has been open to the public via ticketed entry since June, although night time opening was delayed slightly due to the dry spring. The installation is open for viewing until September and people can also view the wildflower moat for free from the public paths around the Tower of London site.
The moat was first built in the 1270s and filled with water to protect the Tower from attack. However, with the passing of time, the water became boggy and as a result, was drained in 1845. Since the moat has been grassed over it has been used for a range of purposes, including grazing livestock, as a training ground for soldiers and for growing vegetables on allotments. It was also the location for the stunning metal poppy display installed in 2014 to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.
A visit by a member of the Amberol team on a sunny day in June yielded these photos which show the meadow in all its colourful glory. Strolling through the wildflowers with sweet scents and butterflies and bees flying abundantly around the wildflower blooms proved to be a treat for the senses. It was also easy to forget that the meadow is located in a tourist hub in one of the busiest areas of London.
The moat’s wide banks make a great setting for the wildflower meadow, although different sides of the moat provided different growing conditions in terms of light, shade and exposure to the elements - which meant that some areas of the moat thrived more than others.
Creating the meadow involved sowing 20 million seeds during the spring months. The flowers planted include the following:
The California Poppy – used in herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments from anxiety to sleeplessness, the inclusion of this plant acknowledges the Tower’s history of being a place where flowers were grown for medicinal purposes. For example, Sir Walter Raleigh grew herbs and flowers in the Tower Lieutenant’s garden when he was imprisoned there in 1603.
The Pot Marigold – this flower has edible leaves and can be used as a garnish or added to salads. It can also be used when dried to add colour to hot dishes.
Annual Toadflax – this wildflower looks similar to the snapdragon and is an important inclusion as it attracts pollinators – although they need long narrow tongues to reach the nectar contained within the toadflax’s pointed lobes.
Sweet William Catchfly - some people believe that this flower, which has a sticky sap on its stem to trap insects, was named after William Shakespeare – although there are other equally likely candidates such as William the Conqueror or Saint William of York.
Viper’s-bugloss – a native flower to Europe and the UK, this is another plant that is known for attracting valuable pollinators. It has now been introduced in parts of the US where it is considered invasive – hence its American name the ‘Blue Devil’.
Annual Baby’s Breath – a popular choice in bridal bouquets, this delicate white flower is associated with purity and innocence.
Namaqualand Daisy – another favourite with pollinators, this vibrant orange daisy is easy to spot amongst the wildflower meadow.
Wildflowers by their nature grow well in their natural habitats; they also grow well in containers, self-watering planters, pots and flower beds, making a beautiful addition to any floral display, combining well with cultivated plants. However, some plants need a little more care and attention. Amberol’s self-watering containers create optimal growing conditions for a variety of plants, from wildflowers to herbs to shrubs to bedding plants. Their self-watering system means that plants can access water and nutrients as and when required, at the same time as reducing the need for maintenance.
For more information about Amberol’s self-watering planters, call 01773 830 930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.