The London Olympic Park, built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, is the U.K.’s largest new urban park. It was named the Olympic Park during the games and later renamed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in honor of the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The park contains the athlete’s Olympic Village and several sporting venues, such as the London Stadium, London Aquatics Centre and Media Centre. In addition to an entertainment venue, the park caters to a wide range of everyday uses and users. The urban park is a joy for nature lovers and houses over 110 acres of open space that includes beautiful gardens full of flowers, broad meadows and wetlands. The park’s vibrant gardens are an attraction for visitors all throughout the year.
During the 2012 Olympics & Paralympics, over 74,000 plants were planted in the Olympic Village.
The Famous Gardens
The 2012 Gardens feature plants from all around the world and are famous for their intricate planting and delicate displays. It is in these gardens that you will find happy families having a picnic, competitive couples playing Texas Hold ‘Em and the elderly relaxing while bird watching. The gardens possess an aura and welcome people from all different walks of life.
The 2012 Gardens also pay tribute to Britain’s long history of investigation, exchange and plant gathering with their effect on the colossal green variety and an assortment of British gardens. The gardens, which feature 70,000 plants from 250 unique species the world over, are partitioned into four climatic zones: North America, Asia, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere.
Vibrant colors highlight the Olympic Garden.
The flowers in this garden are found in North American prairies. Though plant collecting from North America was big back in the 1800s, it’s still a source for flower color in the British gardens today. The prairie groups contain plenty of Asters, Rudbeckias, Solidago species and Helianthus. Only little pieces of prairie usually stay in the wild, so this garden commands a shocking estimation of prairie plants for their late supply of dust and nectar, and for their dynamite show.
The Asia gardens centers on structure and foliage from the edges of Asian forests, which is what makes the Asian plants more distinct from the other three parts of the 2012 Gardens. The motivation came from the woodland glades, forest edges and grasslands of temperate Asia where the 20th-century herb collectors would have gathered unique plants, trees and shrubs.
This garden represents a shift from the traditional idea of growing individual plants to communities that interact with one another and compete for resources. Lowland wildflowers and moist summer hay meadows were the inspiration behind the European gardens. This garden is based on a traditional hay meadow but includes more robust species that flower for longer.
This garden was inspired by the exotic species found in South Africa’s Drakensberg range. Flowers from South Africa are quite vibrant in color and dramatic in shape, and the Drakensberg range is an example. With a warm climate, many South African plants are suitable for British gardens. Plants from South Africa were all the rage in the 19th century, much like Texas Hold’Em.
The Gardens Draw People In
Many people go to parks to watch their children play and for entertainment, but they also go for the wildlife and solitude. The gardens offer the same. The beautiful landscape, flowers and views of the streams attract visitors from all over to the gardens. It’s been said that it is people’s love for decoration that draws them to gardens. Think about how people decorate their own image with hairstyles, makeup, jewelry and tattoos; the same is a big part of the reason that people are drawn to gardens. It’s the decoration that captures them, and the Gardens at Olympic Park are no different. Whether you are bicycling along the trails, dining and seeing a show at the theatre or engaging in a game of poker at the nearby casino, you’re sure to stop and smell the roses at the gardens.
Nearby Attractions of The Gardens
There’s so much to do right at the Park’s doorsteps.
Stratford Circus Arts Centre
Stratford Circus Arts Centre brings convenient, world-class performances and creative learning to the area. Stratford Circus houses a 300-seat auditorium, a 90-seat theatre and numerous conference and meeting facilities and has been used by many different organizations for training, conferences, and other purposes. Being a family-friendly venue, they offer performances and activities for people of all ages. But if you’re looking for a game of Omaha Hi-Lo, check out the next attraction.
Aspers Westfield Casino
A leisure destination for any occasion, Aspers Westfield Casino has been called the best casino in London. The vibrant casino floor is home to two modern bars and an à la carte restaurant, offering sports, entertainment, live music, and nightlife. Live poker tournaments also take place in London’s biggest game room at Aspers. Last year, Aspers Westfield was home to 888 Poker’s online tournament, welcoming over 550 players. In addition, London’s best casino offers slot machines, Blackjack and Roulette. There is something for everyone.
Lee & Stort Boat Tours
Relax and explore Olympic Park in style with a friendly boat tour, complete with an expert guide. During the boat ride, you’ll pass through beautifully landscaped parklands in the shadows of some of the most well-known venues from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the Stadium, the London Aquatics Centre and Lee Valley VeloPark all while learning interesting facts about the park and its future from a professional tour guide. Spot the wildlife that has made the park their home and even see some of the permanent artworks by local and international artists that were designed to be viewed from the canal. The boat tours are a unique and fun way to explore Olympic Park.
With so much to do inside of Olympic Park and nearby, from a game of Texas Hold’Em to bird watching, the gardens still never go unnoticed. The 2012 Gardens are a force of nature, and the popularity of the exotic plants combined with the cultural differences in the herbs make the gardens an attraction of their own and a must-see when visiting Olympic Park.