Case Study PoliNations Super Garden

Victoria Square, Birmingham

PoliNations Super Garden, Victoria Square, Birmingham

Completed September 2022

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The Brief

This ambitious project, in partnership with PoliNations, Thiss Studio, Trigger Stuff and DB Landscapes, involved the creation of an epic super garden in the centre of Birmingham as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity that took place across the UK and online from March to October 2022 and which brought the Birmingham 2022 Festival - the cultural programme for the Commonwealth Games - to a spectacular close.

Scotscape were approached as part of the tender process, based on our work on previous prestigious and highly skilled projects similar to PoliNations such as Somerset House, COP 26 & Derby’s Forest for the Future.

Having won the tender process, we were tasked with sharing our knowledge and experience to review and implement any key structural and design changes to ensure the landscape sector of the project would be a success and deliverable.

The Challenges

Our knowledge and experience for delivering epic, high profile installs and de-rig projects, especially given the time restraints, was key to ensuring the project was not only delivered on time but at an optimum level. This included key USP features such as developing an anchoring system for the tree installs on the hard surface without disturbing the ground, managing the logistics involved in sharing on-site space with other contractors and the incredibly tight timeframes.

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The Approach (Design & logistics)

Giant architectural trees and thousands of plants, co-planted by Birmingham residents, transformed Victoria Square into a magical urban oasis which hosted a spectacular free events programme including workshops and performances.

Our team managed the scheduling of all materials such as tree, shrubs, mulch, turf, sub-structures (anchoring) along with regular liaison meetings ahead of the project start date.

They worked incredibly hard to plant and put the finishing touches to this epic project, helping to transform the city centre into a vibrant living oasis.
A total of 6000 herbaceous plants, 350 shrubs and 240 trees were planted in the garden by the time it was completed, in just 10 days!

The Outcome

The super-natural wonderland brought live music, poetry, dance, workshops, light shows, unexpected plant-life origin stories and much more to the residents and visitors of Birmingham.

The pop-up forest, unsurprisingly, also boosted footfall to the city centre, helping to promote economic recovery after the pandemic and supporting local businesses.

It’s all about the biodiversity!

Not only was the super garden a big hit with visitors of the human kind, but it was really great to see the bees were buzzing with delight too. Insects, butterflies and pollinators enjoyed the thousands of trees and high nectar plants installed by Team Scotscape.

And even rain didn’t stop play at the super garden. Each architectural tree canopy included 12 rain catcher sails that diverted rainwater and collected it to help water the live plants on site.

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The Legacy

Scotscape ensured sustainability was at the forefront of the project. Many thousands of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants from the super garden were all given away to local authorities on completion of the project to contribute to the growth and development of Birmingham's green spaces and so the local wildlife could enjoy the plants for a long time to come.

Mulch was donated to local waste sites for ground improvements across their distribution centres.

We are proud to have worked alongside the other partners to bring this free, family-friendly event to Birmingham city centre. We love getting people, especially children, really excited about climate change, biodiversity and the role we all have to play.

For us, the legacy is the most fundamental part of the project and events like this really showcase what can be done. And whilst we know that this pop-up forest won’t stop climate change, it’s a start. It’s about the education and you can’t put a price on that.


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The Team

None of the above would have been possible without our site team managed by Darren, ably assisted by Adam, who worked through many challenges to deliver and de-rig the project on time and on budget.

Testimonials from visitors

“The transformation is extraordinary”

“The work that has gone into it is incredible”

“It’s a joy for people to be here”

“Let’s take some of the messages from this event and really put them into the heart of our societies”


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