The B-Lines Garden

European Wool Carder Bee (Anthidium manicatum) © Claire Pumfrey

Buglife has collaborated with Hayley Herridge, the Pollinator Gardener, to create the B-Lines Garden which will be featured at this year’s Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, 2nd-7th July 2024.

The B-Lines Garden © Hayley Herridge, The Pollinator Gardener
The B-Lines Garden © Hayley Herridge, The Pollinator Gardener

 

This pollinator paradise promotes ‘B-Lines’, a network of ‘insect pathways’ stretching across the UK that will in time provide corridors of nectar-rich habitat for bees and other pollinators. Bursting with wildflowers and ornamentals, the garden reveals how any space can contribute to the network increasing flower abundance and habitat for bee resilience.

Ribbons of Linaria purpurea (Purple Toadflax) and Salvia ‘Carradonna’ weave across the garden, while a bee friendly mosaic structure incorporates drought tolerant plants such as Verbascum thapas (Great Mullein), Daucus carota (Wild Carrot) and Eryngium planum ‘Blue Hobbit’ (Blue eryngo) to more typical herbaceous mixed-border style planting with plants such as Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gelber Herold’ (Rusty Foxglove), Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Sculptural bee towers, cob nesting material and bare ground add essential nesting habitat for an array of bee species.

The garden has been sponsored by Buglife and the London Buzzing project and will be relocated to communities in London including The Tabard Garden Allotments and the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve after the show.

Get your tickets to the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival on the RHS website.


Key Plants in the Garden

Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea)

To many a weed but this plant has fantastic resilience, a long flowering season and delicately lobed purple flowers with long, nectar filled spurs loved by pollinators. It also politely self-seeds, providing plants for free.

Image Credit © jacki-dee (Flickr, CC by 2.0)

Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantia)

A drought-tolerant garden ‘must have’ for a bee garden. Providing pollen and nectar and an excellent source of nesting material for the beautiful Wool Carder Bee (Anthidium manicatum), which will utilise the hairs on the leaves to line its egg cells.

Image Credit: saiberiac (Flickr, CC by 2.0 Deed)

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)

No wildlife garden would be complete without umbellifers. The large clusters of flat white umbels of Wild Carrot provide for a broad range of pollinators such as beetles, flies, wasps and small solitary bees.

Image Credit: Mike Prince (Flickr, CC by 2.0 Deed)

Nettled-leaved Bellflower (Campanula trachelium)

A British native with beautiful large bell-shaped purple flowers attracting a group of unique bees called the scissor bees. There are only two scissor bee species in Britain, and they both collect pollen exclusively from campanulas.

Image Credit: Smabs Sputzer (1956-2017) (CC by 2.0 Deed)

‘Gelber Herold’ (Digitalis ferruginea) 

Providing tall spikes of honey-brown flowers and generally flowering later than our native foxgloves. Loved by long-tongued bumblebees.

Image Credit: Rictor Norton & David Allen (Flickr, CC by 2.0 Deed)

Bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

An important wild plant in the British landscape providing food for around 130 invertebrate species. It is a great addition to a wildlife garden and just as at home in a garden border as a meadow. Look out for foraging Red-tailed Bumblebee workers on this plant, providing a typical summer scene.

Image Credit: John Pilkington (Flickr, CC by 2.0 Deed)


Meet the Designer

A newcomer to garden design, Hayley is an ecologically focussed designer aiming to create immersive yet functional spaces which will provide clients with a deeper sense of connection with the natural world. Using her background in invertebrate conservation to drive design ideas, her planting choice reflects an interest in selecting plants with a range of beneficial qualities from boosting biodiversity to climate resilience, culinary and medicinal uses and a strong design aesthetic. Having recently set up a business called The Pollinator Gardener, Hayley is currently studying Garden and Landscape Design at the Eden Project, Cornwall and aims to offer a full planting and garden design service in the near future.

Right Image Credit: Lauren Wiig

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