We were really excited to be involved as part of the team to deliver the Blossom Garden, which was the UK’s Covid Memorial Garden sited in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Our role was to collaborate with the lead designers The Edible Bus Stop and Davies White and ensure the detailed elements of the scheme were resolved, develop the design with the team helping take it from concept to build.
The design presents a mixture of 33 semi-mature blossom trees, a variety of pollinator-friendly herbaceous perennials and wildflower bands set within a species-rich lawn. Responding to the brief, we designed a sustainably produced pathway to increase accessibility into and through the space, providing three inclusively designed seating areas each adjacent to a blossom ring, for visitors to rest and reflect.
A central path is a key feature of the design to ease accessibility to the site. For this element, we combined concrete stamped with woodgrain, interspersed with bands of Greenheart reclaimed tropical timber as well as bands of concrete mixed with a high amount of visible marble aggregate to create tonal breaks. The reclaimed tropical timber can also be found within the batons of the benches. This ensures the path and benches share a family of material components. Local artisans – led by Junior Phipps of Conscious Forms, working with Flee Jones of Felicity Jones Metalwork and Dan Gritten – Cabinet Maker and Woodworker, co-designed the benches with Mak Gilchrist of the Edible Bus Stop.
All the wood utilised in the benches is FSC certified reclaimed tropical timber originating from sites within London, including fenders from the Olympic Parks lock. The design fits within the existing Biodiversity Action Plan for the park, and despite the additional hard landscaped elements needed to maximise accessibility, there is overall net biodiversity gain due to the increase and enhancement of existing perennials, extra species-rich lawn, plus the addition of the 33 semi-mature blossom trees.