Saturday, April 03, 2010

STOP PRESS: Biodiversity Competition Entry

This post is dedicated to all of the wonderful images and information that are being sent to me as entries for the RHS biodiversity competition to win a year's membership of the RHS.

I have received the brilliant photo of a hoverfly (below) and some great ideas from Liz Arblaster:

Copyright: Liz Arblaster

Liz says:
"To encourage biodiversity I try to use plants attractive to wildlife; flowers, trees and shrubs all have wildlife in mind with a range across the seasons to provide food. I leave tidying to a minimum for insects to hibernate over winter and especially encourage Bees, Hoverflies, Butterflies, Moths and Birds.
Without the wildlife the garden feels empty to me, and nothing makes me happier than hearing buzzing or watching Butterflies flit around the garden."

Thank you, Liz, for your great entry - the photo is amazing.

Hot on Liz's heels is this wonderful photograph from Kay Halley.

Copyright: Kay Halley

Kay explains:

"Our front garden consists of 300 square metres of lawn, cultivated by us for 10 years as a meadow. It is on chalk so we have introduced a number of chalk grassland species, many from locally collected seed and it is cut just once a year in September. It supports around 120 species of herbaceous flowering plants including 13 species of orchid, plus tree, shrub and grass species and in summer it is heaving with insect life. In recent years we have collected seed from our meadow and used it to reintroduce cowslips and other common species to nearby roadside verges."

Thank you Kay - a real inspiration. I can almost hear the sound of all the insect life your meadow must attract. Beautiful. And I don't think I've even seen 13 species of orchid.

Rosie over at Leavesnbloom is encouraging biodiversity with her new lacewng hotel. Rosie has even developed her marketing patter to encourage the aphid-munchers:

"We’ve got a great holiday (lifetime) package for all you Lacewings. We are going to be offering free board and keep from about August 2010 onwards but until then the leaves‘nbloom garden can offer a great daily banquet on condition that you lay your lovely eggs in the garden (about 300 per lacewing would do nicely rather than American express or visa) and allow your little ones larvae to roam freely in the garden where they can feast on our lush greenfly (that’s the chef’s speciality by the way)".

I've got a feeling that Rosie's hotel will be full when the season starts. Thanks for entering, Rosie.

Can you beat those entries? There's only one week to go. See this link for details on how to enter.


Esther Montgomery said...

I have a horrible internal conflict. I can't properly recognise the different stages in a moth / butterfly / ladybird or hover-fly's life so I'm often unsure which creatures to leave on plants and which I should transport elsewhere or throw over the wall. It's probably easier in a bigger garden where you can set special areas aside but in a small garden (like ours) plants, 'wildlife' and family have to co-exit. 'Co-exist' I say! Battle it out or fail . . . or despair . . . or, if all else fails, feel noble.


HappyMouffetard said...

I have the same problem, esther, unless it's obviously something munching away with hundreds of its colleagues, like the Solomon Seal sawfly.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

I am all about biodiversity... great post thanks for sharing.

Gwenfar's Lottie said...

The hoverfly picture is stunning. Actually all of the pictures are pretty amazing.

I'm often caught in a bind about bugs. I take the view that all blackfly on my broad beans must die (sorry!), but try to leave most other things. Though I am rather concerned about what is eating many of my narcissi flowers this year. Something is chomping away just as they come out, and I'm not impressed. Any thoughts on what it might be?

Peggy said...

Hi thanks for visitng my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.Great blog with fantastic photos, I have never had the opportunity to visit Tatton park so enjoyed those especially!

Lzyjo said...

Fabulous photos. Love to tip to keep litter in the garden for overwintering insects. It's sad that we've changed our world so much but it's worthwhile work restoring it to its natural state.

Chrissie said...

Hello HappyMouffetard, your post is very interesting and I love the idea of flower meadows. Sadly I don't have enough ground but we do try to leave a little corner. Thank you for the link to comp too :-)

Yan said...

Beautiful pictures. I particularly like the wildflower meadow and feel inspired to attempt something similar. Thanks also for the info on the competition, I hadn't heard about biodiversity year.

Sprouts, Shoots & Sunshine said...

Great post! I have an area in the back of my house where I would love to plant more plants that attract wildlife. Thanks for the encouragement.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love the wildflower meadow. At the moment I have all sorts of things in trays (ox eye daisies, field scabious, cowslips) getting big enough to try life outside in our little orchard.