Wimbledon, 27 June – 10 July

Wimbledon has been running since 1877. In celebration of the tournament, here are some interesting facts:

  • Over 50,000 plants/flowers supplied each year. The Ivy on Centre Court is Boston Ivy.
  • Rufus, a Harris Hawk belonging to Avian Control, visits the Club most weeks in the year to provide a deterrent to local pigeons by making them aware of a predator in the grounds to persuade them to roost elsewhere. Flies for one hour (9.00am) most mornings of The Championships before the gates open.
  • Wimbledon is the largest single annual sporting catering operation (1800 staff) carried out in Europe. Average quantities supplied by Championships’ caterers FMC include:
  1. 350,000 cups of tea and coffee | 150,000 bottles of water | 235,000 glasses of Pimm’s
  2. 30,000 litres of milk | 28,000 bottles of champagne
  3. 207,000 meals served | 190,000 sandwiches | 150,000 bath buns, scones, pasties and doughnuts | 60,000 sausage baguettes
  4. 130,000 lunches served | 100,000 pints of beer and lager
  5. 125,500 ice creams | 6,000 stone-baked pizzas
  6. 40,000 char-grilled meals served | 32,000 portions of fish and chips
  7. 142,000 portions of English strawberries | 2,100 kilos of bananas (for players)

Planting at Wimbledon is based on a palette of club colours in purple, green and white, with the occasional subtle flash of pink or yellow.   In 2015 this included buxus balls to add structure, wispy grasses such as miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, foxgloves, Scotch Thistle, verbena bonariensis, salvia Mystic and French lavender for height and volume, and hydrangea paniculata and geraniums as floral eye-pleasers.

Overlaid on top of the perennials for the duration of the Championships are a sea of petunias, lupins and a new hydrangea called ‘Magical Amethyst’. The plants are compact but produce giant spherical flower heads that open lime green, change to pink and then go back to soft green with pink edges.