SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF URBAN LANDSCAPES WITH WILDFLOWERS
Urban derelict soils are characterized by a low content of nutrients and organic matter. They also lack in structure and water holding capacity. These problems are very serious when growing traditional kinds of ornamentals: horticultural plants such as flowering shrubs, and borders of annuals, which require nitrogen and high quality soil. On the other hand, wild herbaceous flowers sown on these soils create beautiful vegetal communities and improve biodiversity, with little maintenance. In Italy this practice is not widespread and our aim was to adapt wildflower cultivation techniques to the Mediterranean pedo-climatic conditions. More than 20 species (annuals and perennials) that showed good performance and seemed most suited to this area were selected. Local councils were involved and public green spaces were successfully cultivated with wildflowers. We also outline some of the projects we have carried out in Tuscany (Italy) in the last eight years and discuss the large-scale seed production of the plants we selected as being the most suitable.
Bretzel, F. and Pezzarossa, B. (2010). SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF URBAN LANDSCAPES WITH WILDFLOWERS. Acta Hortic. 881, 213-219
derelict soils, native, herbaceous species, soil fertility