Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.

Sewing the seed

Ambitious charity project to create a giant Bayeux tapestry of Britain’s wildflowers

October 06 2012

One of the patches that will make up the

One of the patches that will make up the "meadow", depicting a dog-rose.

Britain has a long lasting love affair with wildflowers, our native plants and flowers are scattered through out literature, history, art, folklore and fashion.

Plantlife’s unique project celebrates this heritage and will see us bring together the stories of Britain’s wildflowers in the form of a giant patchwork exhibition called the “Patchwork Meadow”.

Seona Anderson from Plantlife explains “From the Bayeux Tapestry, through to William Morris, from Celia Birtwell to Grayson Perry, Britain has a tradition of celebrating diversity in textile design that we want to tap into. We want to celebrate this love of wild plants by asking the nation to help us create a patchwork of artwork and stories from across the range of Britain’s natural and cultural diversity.

This autumn, Plantlife is asking the public to curl up by their firesides and get stitching. Sneak a peek at our gallery or visit wildflowereurope.org/en/patches/ for some inspiration. There are over 20 factsheets on a range of subjects from mythology, to plants of faith, literature, food, medicine and royalty.

Prepare a Plantlife patchwork:

UPDATE: Extended deadline for UK. You can contribute a square for this year’s UK exhibition at Wild North until the middle of May 2013. We have had so much interest that we will keep the project to contribute squares open until January 2014, and these will be included in Wild North 2014.

  • People should make squares that are 15cm x 15cm, that are made of fabric and can be sewn, woven, painted, printed, felted, beaded, or made of lace.
  • Each square should have the name of the person (or organisation) that made it and the name or names of the plant.
  • Each square should be mounted on card (acid foam or mount board are best but any rigid, unprinted card will work)
  • You can enter your information and picture using the online submission form, including which county you would like your square to be exhibited in at the end of the project. Please contact us at patchworkmeadow@plantlife.org.uk or phone 01722 342730 if you are unable to use an online submission form.
  • The design can be a realistic depiction, a landscape or cultural setting, or an abstract design based on all or part of the plant. Plants can be flowers, grasses, trees, fungi, mosses, algae, and should currently grow wild in the UK countryside.

Once completed the giant “Patchwork Meadow” will start on a series of exhibitions around the UK, beginning at the Wild North Festival in Caithness and Sutherland. The squares will be assembled for exhibition using a button, loop and Velcro system, which accommodates a range of fabric types and allows for easy storage, transportation and exhibition at a range of venue sizes. During the second year of the project (2013-2014) we will be working to find permanent homes at the county or regional level, depending on the level of participation in different regions.

If you are able to, and you would like to contribute to the costs of coordinating the Patchwork Meadow project in the UK you can donate at Just Giving.

You can also donate by mobile phone by texting PWMP85 and putting either (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5, or £10) after this and sending to 70070. Any contribution of any amount would be gratefully received.