Preparations for the Opening of the IBCC

A team of volunteers from Biffa Award, The Eton Avenue Growers Association and Influence spent a day on site at International Bomber Command on Friday 16 March getting their hands dirty creating and forming the International Peace Garden Beds.


Over 20 volunteers arrived on site and after a brief meet and greet inside the Chadwick Centre the group was divided into teams and allocated a planting bed to work on.  Each team marked out their bed shape before collecting their plants from the thousands delivered from Jacksons of Whixley.  The plants were then laid out to planting plans created by Influence, before the task of digging and planting could begin.

Each of the five beds represent the five continents which played an important role as allied air forces in World War II. The species for each bed were carefully chosen to ensure they were either of native origin or represented the planting styles found within that continent.


  • AFRICA – tropical looking hardy plants with hot colours consisting of red, orange and yellow from upright species such as Knophia, Crocosmia and Agapanthus, groups of grasses with blue and oranges tinges.
  • AMERICAS – prairie style planting in large swathes of grasses such as Panicum, Calamagrostis and herbaceous perennials such as Heleniums, Rudbeckia and Achillea. A Canadian Maple was included within this bed that was donated by Ken Cothliff in memory of his Father killed on ops.
  • ASIA – a focal small Acer tree (Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’) surrounded by white Japanese Anemones, ruby Aquilegias, Nandina (ornamental bamboo) and ribbons of grasses all picking up tones of red and burgundy.
  • AUSTRALASIA – a mixture of hardy herbaceous perennials, grasses and small shrubs with a mixture of textures and forms such as the shiny and glossy leaves of the Griselinia, strappy leaves of the Phormium and Agapanthus, tall red spikes of colour from Lobelia and Astrantia and soft fluffy textures from grasses which will create movement within the bed. A small variety of Eucalyptus was planted as a focal feature within this bed.
  • EUROPE – taking the inspiration from the light and dark of the assembly areas this bed contains plants with dark flowers or foliage such as Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ and Sedum ‘Matrona’ against the lighter colours of Echinacea ‘White Swan’ and Achillea ‘Moonshine’ a small Amelanchier tree sits within this bed which has year round interest and white colour blossom in spring, bronze new growth and vivid autumn colour.


Influence would like to thank the volunteers from Biffa Award and Eton Avenue Growers Association for their time and effort.

Further volunteers have since been on site to finish the planting in time for official opening ceremony on 12 April 2018.

To read more about the International Bomber Command Centre, click here.