Bugs on Show

The heat must have been getting to me at Hampton Court Flower Show last week – I was overcome by a ladybird outfit in the bug photobooth!

What a fantastic show it was though. Our new interactive science area called the Invisible Garden was a tremendous hit with visitors. As well as picking up info on our Plants for Bugs research, members of the public were encouraged to view items such as butterfly wings and nettle stinging hairs down microscopes and spot bumblebees in the ‘bumblearium’.

I was there four days giving talks on attracting wild bees in the garden and recognising baby bugs (how many of you know what a ladybird larvae or hoverfly pupae looks like?!). Visitors loved it.

Meanwhile, the heat is also attracting the butterflies to our Plants for Bugs plots. Wisley Gardens has historically yielded relatively poor records for butterflies (though strangely our moth count is very high). So when our volunteers reported they’d sent up a positive ‘kaleidoscope’ (yes, this is apparently a valid collective noun for them) of butterflies from the plots this morning I decided to grab my camera and have a look. They wouldn’t all keep still but here are some snaps I managed to catch:

Common blue butterflies mating6 spot burnet moth on Verbena bonariensisRed dragonfly on Lobelia tupa

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.