Insect Hotels Abound at Chelsea Flower Show

royal bank photo

Photo: B. Alter

Insect hotels are architectural, recycled and perfectly formed. But you can't stay there: they are for the bugs.

Several gardens at this year's Chelsea Flower Show were featuring them. The most stylish, attached to the wall of a recycled shipping container, were at the Royal Bank of Canada's New Wild Garden.

bank wall photo

Photo: B. Alter

The container/artist's cottage had 2 of them. The lovely low drystone walls built from salvaged materials also contained insect hotels.

Insect hotels or habitats are happy little homes for bugs. The hotels house all kinds of creatures which are good for the garden. They can nest there, be protected from the elements and find food. The hotels are made of recycled bits of wood and bark, dry leaves, bricks and sticks. Bees, moths, spiders, ladybugs, beetles, frogs, newts and larvae all find a place there. So it is nice to see that garden designers are acknowledging the importance of the habitats and giving us models to recreate in our own gardens.

bee que photo

Photo: B. Alter

The B & Q Garden, which featured a 9 metre high vertical green wall, also had the largest insect hotel ever. Climbing up like a bug beacon, it reached 5 metres. Created with school children, it contained all kinds of recycled and odd things such as old books, toys, sticks, paper, toilet rolls and hay.

house bug photo

Photo: B. Alter

This sweet little insect hotel was part of the sensory garden developed for the Doncaster Deaf Trust. Along with fragrant smelling flowers and tactile sculpture, they used old metal poles from scaffolding to serve as a fence.

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