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Patchwork Meadow takes root at Eden

Influenced by the wild flowers of Cornwall and with contributions from groups and individuals from across the county, the giant Patchwork Meadow arrives at the Eden Project this May.

June 22 2015

Bluebell patch by Maureen Dudley, Vestry Quilters, St Austell

Bluebell patch by Maureen Dudley, Vestry Quilters, St Austell

Part of an international art project and over 20m in length, the stitched meadow is made up of 500 individually crafted ‘patches’ that together create a giant love letter by the public to the UK’s wild flowers and plants. From grandmothers to schoolchildren, from expert embroiders to first-time crafters, this homage to beloved bluebells and humble dandelions, colourful fungi and delicate mosses will be on display at Eden until the end of September.

Groups in Cornwall like the St Austell group or the Vestry Quilters decided to get involved with Plantlife’s project because of their love for their county’s wild flowers and plants. The Vestry Quilters created ten squares for the Meadow. Sheila Clements, says, "We are looking forward to seeing all the stunning entries in the exhibition at Eden. Our group, was inspired by the flowers that remind us of spring in Cornwall, and those that make our unique Cornish hedgerows so special, from bluebells to primroses and even the humble dandelion, they all feature in the patchwork meadow".

The Patchwork Meadow has brought many communities together, who, often reveal deeply personal and moving stories in their patches, whether it be an aunt's favourite flower or a patch created in memory of a loved one.

Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, chose the toadflax, which was created for him by Seona Anderson, who led the project at Plantlife. Tim says "I chose toadflax because it's like an Audi S4: simple and straightforward on the outside, but when you look under the bonnet , the complexity, intricacy and sheer brilliance of the design is revealed."

Marian Spain, CEO of Plantlife adds "The patchwork meadow reminds us of how much we all care about wildflowers and starts conversations about what we need to do to make sure they continue to be part of our countryside. Wild flowers are an integral part of our heritage and our lives today and its shocking to hear how many of those depicted on the patchwork are under threat. Native plants are being lost at a rate of nearly one per county per year."

"When they see the patchwork, people choose a favourite square then change their minds when they find another, equally beautiful or even more relevant to them. We hope visitors to Eden will enjoy encountering this wonderful wildflower scene, reminding them of our important wildflower heritage and their own deep rooted connection to nature. For some, perhaps, it might also prompt them to think what they can do to help flowers thrive".

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