Plants grown in the Royal Parks’ new glasshouse at the nursery in Hyde Park were used in the floral decorations at last month’s Royal Wedding at Windsor.
Two cranesbill varieties and foxgloves – all white flowering to fit in with the wedding’s colour theme and natural look – were part of a batch being grown for planting out at Kensington Gardens, one of eight open spaces in London that the Royal Parks is responsible for looking after.
The 8,000sq m glasshouse, built at a cost of £5 million and which is now fully operational, replaces several blocks that had been there since the 1960s and, because it has increased production area by 40%, means the nursery can now produce nearly all the Royal Parks’ plant requirements.
Constructed by Deforche Construct, the glasshouse features the Belgian company’s cabrio roof, the first major glasshouse in the UK to do so.
The glasshouse is split into 12 computer controlled zones, each operated by Climate Controls’ latest technologyand all equipped with heating. Ten compartments have mobile benching, one of which also has LED lighting. Another area is unheated and protected only by a roof.
Future plans include a classroom and visitor facilities.
The Royal Parks used a small nursery in Regent’s Park while the facilities were being built, which will now close and its future use is under review.
As the project was under way, the Royal Parks Agency and the Royal Parks Foundation merged to become a charity responsible for running the nursery and managing the parks.