The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show's wildlife-friendly gardens offered advice and insight on how to help insects and animals thrive in your own garden
Visitors enjoyed a number of show gardens dedicated to educating the public on how to make their own gardens encouraging to insects and other wildlife.
The fascinating, concealed world of microscopic organisms could be seen at the RHS Invisible Garden in the Escape zone. Lacewing larvae, butterfly wings and rotifers, amongst many others, were magnified, scrutinised and explained to visitors by RHS scientists. Advice was also given on how to encourage these beneficial beings to our own green spaces.
Hedgehog Street, for example, sponsored by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, featured practical yet stylish design ideas for the gardener to help hedgehogs live safely and comfortably in their garden and travel freely through fence boundaries. Be sure to take a look and pick up some advice.
The Jordans Wildlife Garden (which also won a People's Choice Award) gave a representation of the natural British countryside, featuring meadow grasses, edible flowers, fruit and vegetable plants and hay bales, which embody and highlight our relationship with the land and the preservation of our countryside, foraging possibilities and farmers' responsibility for encouraging wildlife to their fields.
Inspiration came via a wildlife haven of natural, unkempt wildflower planting at the Forgotten Folly, a contemplative garden with the thinking being to show the viewer the beauty and benefit of natural planting. The visual tale of an old abandoned folly becoming overgrown and reclaimed by plants and animals invited visitors to be mindful of and give space to them to create a home.
Education on how we can involve ourselves in helping the natural world was a popular theme at this year's shows, interaction being the key component. The RHS Discovery zone invited children and adults alike to learn about growing your own food, wildlife gardening, and about enjoying our ancient, preserved woodlands.