Planting the Original Marathon Route

For the celebrations of the 120 years of Olympic Games, the authorities chose Anigozanthos to be planted in a known historical monument of Athens famous worldwide: the starting point of the original Marathon route! The place from which thousands of athletes from all over the world start running for the hardest and oldest game of Olympics: the Classic Marathon!
The challenge was great for us because the flower beds had been left without care for years and the result of our plantation should be equivalent to the global attraction of the area. At the beginning, we removed the weeds and foreign materials from the place and defined the area in which we would plant the kangaroo paws.

We had to use intense colors to highlight the flower beds and catch they eyes of the athletes, so what would fit better than Inferno’s red and bonanza’s yellow? For the back row we used Pizzazz, another variety known for its ‘marathon’ resistance to pure Mediterranean climate. The minimum requirements of attention and the extended flowering period make Anigozanthos ideal for that project. We wanted to have flowers in spring for the Semi-Marathon race, and during autumn for the original Marathon sport to impress the athletes and the visitors, thus these kangaroo paws were the greatest solution!
We opened the pits making a hole three times bigger than our pots and added pumice on the bottom to improve drainage for the first days of planting. Unfortunately, in this area the drainage is bad. For that reason we tried from the beginning to avoid having extra water around the “neck” of the plants which can cause diseases by using drippers for controlled water flow in each pit. We began planting carefully placing each kangaroo paw in the right position. We filled the holes with the soil we took out and pressed well to leave no gaps between the roots and the peat. The taller Pizzazzs were placed in the rear lines and the shorter Bonanza and Inferno in the front. Within no time the result was amazing:

We used a light layer of pine bark to cover the soil, hiding imperfections and hoses. This layer also helps us to have fewer weeds which results in lower maintenance for our garden. Before we leave, we added a few stones on the surface to emphasize the decorative character of the garden.

A few days later the athletes of the Semi-Marathon took several photos next to Anigozanthos essentially rewarding our efforts! The plants were installed well and after the summer they will wait flowered the 18,000 athletes of the Original Classic Marathon!

We’d like to thank the Municipality of Marathon and especially Mr. Nisiotis and the Mayor Mr. Psinakis for their trust in Anigozanthos.

Look for more inspiration here.