Pollinator paradise strikes gold this Solitary Bee Week

Wednesday 3rd July 2024


Pollinator paradise, Buglife: The B-Lines Garden, has been awarded a gold medal at this week’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, as part of the Resilient Planting Pocket category.

The garden, inspired by charity and main sponsor Buglife, has been designed by The Pollinator Gardener, Hayley Herridge, to promote ‘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 B-Lines Garden reveals how any space can contribute to the B-Lines network increasing flower abundance and habitat for bee resilience, amplifying the charity’s Solitary Bee Week message, highlighting the importance of these special insects.

On receiving the award, garden designer, The Pollinator Gardener Hayley Herridge said:I’m utterly delighted to receive gold for the Buglife: The B-Lines Garden, supporting a cause very close to my heart. I hope the garden can provide inspiration and plenty of bee gardening ideas for visitors at the festival.”

In response to the announcement Buglife Director of Fundraising and Communication, Paul Hetherington shared:We’re thrilled that Hayley has received a well-deserved gold medal for Buglife: The B-Lines Garden, it’s a great result for Hayley, the garden design team, sponsors and pollinators.  This garden is a great way to showcase how we can all play a role in pollinator recovery, no matter how small a space we have to offer.  From the specialist planting through to the bee homes the design not only looks great but creates a perfect space for the small things that run the planet. A fantastic win for pollinators this Solitary Bee Week!”

The garden, created using sustainably sourced mulch materials including recycled UK construction waste, composted bark and recycled sand is dotted with natural cob bricks made of earth, straw or hay, sand and water forming bee nesting material and includes repurposed Devon wood, to create bee habitat and bee towers, is a great example of what can be achieved for the small things that run the planet in our urban communities.

Purple Berkheya (Berkheya purpurea) and bee post © Hayley Herridge, The Pollinator Gardener

Ribbons of Balkan Clary (Salvia ‘Caradonna’) weave across the garden to symbolise the B-Lines, while bee friendly mosaic structure incorporates drought tolerant plants such as Purple Berkheya (Berkheya purpurea) and Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), to more typical herbaceous border style planting with foxgloves, oregano and clover.  The sculptural bee towers, cob nesting material and bare ground add essential nesting habitat for an array of bee species.

Many wild bees are sensitive to the changing climate and will disperse from their current homes to find more suitable, cooler, conditions to live.  In a landscape of fragmented habitat this can prove challenging, which is why we need B-Lines – providing rivers of flowers across the UK that will increase bee resilience, helping them to thrive. Gardens bursting with flowers can be hotspots for bees, and if all our gardens were flower rich, we would provide a bee haven larger than all the nature reserves in the UK combined.

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) © Hayley Herridge, The Pollinator Gardener

Buglife: The B-Lines Garden has been sponsored by invertebrate conservation charity Buglife’s Get London Buzzing project.  Once the Garden Festival has closed, The B-Lines Garden will be relocated to communities in London including The Tabard Garden Allotments and the Tyson Road Estate, creating a pollinator corridor from Devonshire Road Nature Reserve to the Horniman Museum gardens.

The garden will remain in place until Sunday 7 July and can be visited as part of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. If you would like to more about the garden, how to create your own pollinator paradise, or view the full list of key plants in the garden you can do so here.

Vote for Buglife: The B-Lines Garden in the RHS People’s Choice Award before 9:00am on Friday 5 July: VOTE NOW

Main Image Credit: Buglife: The B-Lines Garden designer and gold medal winner, Hayley Herridge © RHS