River of Flowers latest project ‘Growing Health’ involves working with hospital patients and staff in caring for the natural world by planting wildflowers for urban pollinators.
About us: how we are growing!
River of Flowers is a nonprofit social enterprise working with organisations to create trails or ‘rivers’ of wildflowers and wild flowering trees in cities as forage for bees and other pollinators. By initiating and inspiring new Rivers of Flowers in different cities, River of Flowers aims to raise awareness of the importance of providing food for pollinators and preserving the legacy of wild plants in urban landscapes. We design botanical solutions such as our Trio Meadows, shallow, hexagonal planters filled with native, wildflower turf, which bring meadows into the heart of a city. The Trios interlink to form tessellations and cover barren areas of concrete or amenity grassland with an instant urban meadow without disturbing the ground below. They are useful both in areas of limited space, e.g. hospitals, schools and universities as well as in larger areas, e.g. city squares. We produce deeper, hexagonal planters for growing herbs or small shrubs and trees, called Solo Herb or Solo Tree planters respectively. River of Flowers curates and produces customised Wild Seed Mixes for specific projects.
River of Flowers launched our 'Growing Health' project in 2017, creating Honeycomb Healing Gardens with patients and staff at health care institutions. Our first Honeycomb Healing Garden, supported by The Cooperative Bank, was created outside the Renal Unit at York Hospital in June 2017. We recently created a second outside the Oncology Suite at the Royal Free Hospital, London in November 2017. This garden, supported by Awards for All, will be launched in April 2018. It is linked to our next project 'Planting Air', in which we will use natural bio-indicators such as lichens, mosses and ferns to assess the level of air pollution in different parts of a city, and provide botanical solutions to air pollution by the strategic planting of trees, shrubs and meadows.
River of Flowers is an active partner with Buglife's project Urban Buzz, which aims to create eight new Buzzing Cities in England and Wales, transforming mown and unused urban sites into 200 hectares of rich and vibrant habitat for pollinating insects in local Buzzing Hotspots. The Urban Buzz cities include Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Plymouth and York. Our Honeycomb Meadow planters full of pollinator-friendly plants have already been installed in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London and York, and we hope to develop new Rivers of Flowers in Leeds and Leicester in 2018.
River of Trees is a new project which we also hope to start next year to bring native trees to provide forage for pollinators, food and/or medicine as well as shade and improved air quality to urban landscapes. We would be interested in starting this project not only in the UK but also in Mumbai, India and Asunción, Paraguay. Let us know here if you know anyone in these cities who might be interested.
River of Flowers aims to develop links with other environmentally-conscious organisations, artists, designers, engineers and scientists to bring art, science, engineering and urban ecology together in a way to improve life for humans and non-humans in the city. See our new Facebook page Bees Beyond Borders for videos on bees: What's happening to the bees? All those who love wild bees and freedom are invited to join.
PLEASE CONTACT US at email@example.com for further information.