Boningale Nurseries is proud to have played a part in Birmingham’s history, after supplying 17,000 contract-grown plants for Eastside City Park, the first park to be created in the city for more than 130 years.
The Midlands-based environmental horticulture specialist, which supplies landscape architects, construction and horticultural contractors with millions of home-grown and factored plants every year from its Albrighton headquarters, spent eight months carefully cultivating and supplying herbaceous perennials and shrubs for the 6.75 acre space that sits alongside Millennium Point.
Designed by London architects Patel Taylor, the park, which this month was honoured with four RIBA Awards, features long, narrow views, a water feature that is almost 200 meters in length and a mix of structures in a variety of distinct, yet coordinated materials.
To soften the series of larger, regimented hard landscape surfaces, a striking palette of plants have been selected. These bring a stunning, welcome splash of colour, having been arranged like a Pantone colour chart.
These include perovskia (Russian sage), melianthus, hemerocallis (day lilies), Iigularia, poppies, blue hollies, many species of ornamental grasses, as well as ornamental climbers that are being trained onto seating frame pergolas, all of which bring welcome biodiversity into the heart of the city.
Boningale, which was contracted by The Landscape Group to supply the shrubs and perennials, began to cultivate the plants in March 2012. It transported them in its own fleet of 7.5-tonne trucks last summer – a process that was spread over four months as the planting scheme took shape and the public squares completed.
Steven Horne, Boningale’s Account Representative for The Landscape Group, described it as a privilege to be involved with such a prestigious project.
“We’ve been involved in many large-scale horticultural projects over the years but this was very special because it was the first park to be created in Birmingham since Victorian times,” said Steve.
“Working alongside The Landscape Group and such a prestigious architect for this huge project not only gave us an enormous sense of pride but also gave us the opportunity to undertake a massive contract growing programme at our headquarters.”
“The park looks magnificent and is a welcome green space in Birmingham city centre. We are honoured to have been part of its inception.”
Andy Whitfield, Projects Manager from The Landscape Group added: “It was a pleasure to work on such a prestigious project and deliver the impressive soft landscape scheme designed by Applied Landscape Design using such high quality plant material.
We have a good working relationship with Boningale Nurseries, which led to the award of this contract grow order to the nursery. Successful periodic inspections were carried out at the nursery during the growing on stages, followed by excellent co-ordination and delivery to site in line with our schedule and programme.”
In June 2013, Eastside City Park was honoured with four RIBA awards, including a National Award, West Midlands Award, Building of the Year, and Client of the Year for Birmingham City Council. As one of forty three National winners, it will be included in the long-list for the prestigious Stirling Prize which is announced later in the year.
Eastside City Park was also named winner of both the Sustainability and the Special Chairman’s Award at the Institute of Civil Engineers Awards, as well as Highly Commended in the Regeneration category of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors West Midlands Awards.