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National Transport and Wildlife Corridors-Roadside Wildflora-Using Native Irish Wildflowers


 Native Wildflowers for Irish Roadsides:

In this special section of our web site the terms get technical, the guidelines and rules change from all other wildflower growing, and the advice can be radically different than the advice given to landscapers and gardeners.  

So beware, the advice changes from here on in.

Roadside Wildflower Photographs, | Cullahill to Cashel M8/N8 | Wildflower seed meadow growing on the Sligo By Pass

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Welcome, to a resource on growing and managing native wildflowers on Irish roadsides.
In 2006 the NRA published guidelines on establishing native flora on Irish roadsides, combined with E.U. Policy there is now have a blue-print to create national wildlife corridors on Irish roadside & transport corridors.


To assist I suggest you open our Growers Manual in a new browser window

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Since the early 90's Design By Nature have supplied seed for the landscape planting of Irish roadsides.
Planners, engineers and landscape architects of roadsides and major public works have commissioned DBN to survey and plan with native flora in mind. 

In some cases we have photographed the site before and after sowing, we host these as case studies on this web site. See the results for your self Roadsides sown with wildflowers  



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The aim of this part of our web site is to provide photographic 'before and after' case studies of roadside native species plantings. 

To develop a reference for the landscape practice of utilizing native species, to show how to grow wildflowers, to create a place for you to dip into, to check up on what happening on a certain roads and to get answers, and assist problem solving.

The following brief guidelines are for planting wildflowers on roadside landscapes


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As the guidelines of roadside landscaping are changing rapidly, our aim is to offer solutions using native flora, that are flexible yet stand the test of time, we seek to introduce species compositions that allow for greater flexibility such as 'no need to cut' or can be hydrasown and are cost effective. 

As native species become the choice for many design and build contractors, we find that the designers are often foreign companies and are not used to the Irish landscape. These businesses require advice not only on species but on landscape character and mixture performance.


The liner aspect of roads dividing up our unique landscape is the greatest challenge. Where native wildflowers cannot solve all problems, combined with native origin trees and shrubs, we believe we offer the best roadside planting solution for most situations. On 'cuts' we require cover against erosion, on 'embankments' we provide 'no cut mixtures'.  

When flowers are often fleeting,as we drive so fast we don't see them and when the ecologists and fire officers insist we have to cut those miles of embankments, we have solutions


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Then there is the cost associated with landscaping roadsides, how do we justify the cost.  

Simple, DBN are 'Skinflints' and can reduce the overall cost of the road project provided we are in 'on site at the planning stage' before any reports are prepared and any soil is moved. 

Why, because we have the experience and solutions tried and tested to reduce costs, to date we have saved about 600,000 off the costs of building Irish roads through pre planning design, technical papers and our skin flint skills!.

Visit Roadsides sown with wildflowers 


sign_2004.jpg (22113 bytes)On this site is a document which you can download regarding E.U Design for Transport Corridors and Biodiversity:  A Code of Practice 2001 : This link will bring you to a sample of many ideas currently employed at E.U. Level. There are 30 pages about E.U. Biodiversity planning. Please note, we have our own Irish ideas, our own Irish native seed, and our own track record and while we study this document and others such as The Wildflower Handbook (Design Manual for Roads and Bridges) - ISBN 0 11 551347 7 HMSO, we have our own uniquely Irish solutions. 

Open Species Data Pages in a new window 

Skip to Roadside sown with wildflowers (case studies)

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See a case study to identify, report, sow and manage native wildflora on the SEM50 for landscape planner Mr. Aidan J. Ffrench, Landscape Architect, Parks & Landscape Services, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.  To-date, Yellow Rattle and a few other species were collected from the site before the road was built,  (from field in photo) These were then sown back on the slopes, problems are arising where top soil management is left entirely up to the contractors, as its rarely kept separate. However to-date 15 species have germinated.


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In most cases where DBN has supplied native wildflowers to Local Authorities we have photographed the work before and after.

This site will host many of the reports and follow up case studies that we have written and more than that we will show what happened, over many years, and we will own up to failures and show successes.

The photo to the left is the Claremorris By Pass, the photo below is the result, sadly landscapers then weed killed the flora mistakenly, woops,,,,,we do need to have better planning..


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Communications about native flora and its uses, biodiversity and ecology, are vital, from the NRA to the landscape contractor, general public and road engineers. 

Even grasses and trees are now specified as having to be of native origin, what are the safe guards?   How do we know If seed is imported?  Is there less negative ecological impact from some importers?  Are varieties from the USA acceptable on Irish roadsides?  The answer is blowing in the wind.  


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Design By Nature are called 'the wildflower experts', in truth we are only just beginning to understand how to work with plant Biodiversity.  If you would like to know more or have a 'educational presentation' to your department, please email DBN for our staff to visit you and present a talk on our findings about growing wildflowers on Irish roadsides.  Bodies such as UCD, The Botanic Gardens Horticulture Course and The Irish Landscape Institute all use this service. 


Our aim as wildflower growers, is to protect Biodiversity, to create meaningful wildlife habitats, develop corridors and link sites of ecological importance so that the critical mass of 'nature' increases on Irish roads and transport corridors.

We have products and design services to help you link wildlife sites and conserve the landscape to reflect the past and embrace the future. We grow and sell Irish Native origin conservation grade wildflowers, sourced from Irish native providences. Enter

Go on choose - Design By Nature - Irish Wildflower Growers.

Open the link to brief guidelines are for planting wildflowers on roadside landscapes

Visit E.U. Code of Practice
Click here to go to local Authority and Community Projects

  Coming up on our new web site, 

Who sowed the wildflowers on the N8/M8 Cullahill to Cashil motorway and duel carriageway.  The Seed Supplier was Design By Nature, a case study will be hosted on our new site.


DBN (Ire) - Irish Native Origin Wildflower Growers- Working on the Wildside


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