The Library of Birmingham will be home to a variety of green spaces, which will benefit both the local community and the environment. Ahead of this, Birmingham City Council will present Enlightenment at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013, a display celebrating the new library, which will hope to achieve the same success as previous medal-winning displays for Birmingham City Council at the prestigious show.
The centre of the Enlightenment floral display is a recreation of the new library’s striking golden rooftop rotunda. Around this, four segments pay tribute to the library and to three Birmingham writers. The first segment includes a dramatic water feature, which cascades over steps faced with carpet bedding plants inscribed with the Library of Birmingham. A second segment is a tribute to JRR Tolkien, popular author of novels including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which was chosen by the public as the first book to go on the shelves in the new library. The third segment is inspired by Annie Murray’s book Birmingham Blitz, featuring a wartime scene with Anderson Shelter, Spitfire flying overhead and vegetables growing for self sufficiency. The final segment is inspired by Birmingham poet Benjamin Zephaniah’s powerful 2003 poem Nature Trail, which magnifies the life of many different mini beasts that languish in our gardens.
Planting in the display will include Alternanthera, Chamomile, Betula utilis Grayswood Ghost, Cyads, Poinsettia, Pelargonium regalia, and Begonia Camellia. Following the show, the floral display will go to Gardeners World Live at the NEC and also go on show in Birmingham city centre. As part of the BBC’s nationwide initiative marking 100 years of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the City Council will plant a permanent wildflower meadow, taken from the RHS Chelsea Library of Birmingham floral display, around the amphitheatre of the new library on Centenary Square. The aim is to create a publicly accessible green space in an urban setting, to be enjoyed by the whole community and attract wildlife.
for-Wards is an audaciously ambitious musical ode to Brum. Local composer Bobbie-Jane Gardner and a team of professional musicians have worked with local communities in Birmingham to collect and record the sounds of their neighbourhood