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BEHIND THE PRINT: ENDANGERED GARDEN

British wildflowers and the classic English country garden were the inspiration behind one of our most popular prints, the Aloha style Endangered Garden print.  

Currently around a third of the total 1,346 plant species in Britain are endangered, with increasing urbanisation and the uptake of intensive agriculture practices over the past two centuries being the primary cause. Since the 1940s a staggering 97% of wildflower meadows in the UK have been lost, and in urban areas the number of front gardens that have been paved over or covered in gravel (whether to provide parking or for ease of maintenance) has tripled in the past ten years, reducing habitats for birds and insects and increasing the risk of flash flooding.

 

 

Our shorts print features British wildflowers such as Kidney Vetch (the clusters of small yellow flowers that sit atop a green crown which are the sole foodsource for the larvae of the small blue butterfly), the extremely rare and endangered orchid Red helleborine, Cephalanthera rubra, and Chamomile, alongside the Blue Adonis butterfly (found on the chalk downlands in the south of England), Mullein Moth caterpillars (which can be found feeding on verbascum, figwort and buddleia) and various solitary bees.

 

 

 

Over the past 60 years or so, many wildflower meadows in Britain have been re-sown with more productive varieties of grass in order to produce a higher yield of hay, producing the sort of monocultures that not only negatively impacts the various bees and insects that live and feed in such habitats but that also make our countryside look bland, colourless and uniform.  Decreasing biodiversity will impact directly upon our diet too, as a reduction in the number of pollinators will impact our ability to grow fruit and vegetables (many of which are insect-pollinated in the UK).  Thankfully, wildflower meadows were planted in villages across the UK to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the wildflowers planted around the London Olympic Park have also popularised native species with gardeners.  Take a look at this guide if you’re interested in turning your garden into your very own mini wildflower meadow.

 

 

Wildflowers and biodiversity are vital for the British countryside, so if you’re able to incorporate some wildflower species into you garden then you’re doing your bit for the bees and butterflies that rely on them to survive.  If you spot wildflowers bordering fields or in woodland glades then please enjoy them where they are rather than picking them to take home and stick in a vase where they’ll slowly die. The British have a rich history of cultivating flowers, and we hope that our British Aloha style celebrates our native flora whilst discretely raising awareness of the plight of our wildflowers.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunny Cove Studios
London
UK