RHS Wildlife Garden

Feature Garden
The garden represents an urban corridor reclaimed by nature and looks at how wildlife can thrive in what are often thought of as unexpected or forgotten places.

Urban greening is the idea that increased proportions of green spaces in our urban areas benefit people, wildlife and the climate. This shows how disused urban, industrial landscapes, or ‘accidental landscapes’, provide biodiverse habitats.
The design is inspired by an abandoned railway track which has been reclaimed by nature. A path created by the fading tracks travels through the canopy of tall natives such as Crataegus monogyna and Salix babylonica
‘Tortuosa’. Beneath are swathes of ornamental versions of wild plants including Angelica sylvestris ‘Vicar’s Mead’ and Daucus ‘Dara’.

At the front of the garden, Achillea ‘Salmon Beauty’ mingles with Verbascum ‘Helen Johnson’ and Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Bonzeschlier’ to create a dreamy swathe of peachy shades. This is punctuated by Sanguisorba menziesii, whose crimson flowerheads are picked out by an arching Rosa ‘Night Owl’ behind, draped naturalistically over a rustic wooden tripod frame. In a shady spot at one end of the garden, Betonica ‘Hummelo’ is a magnet for skipper butterflies, surrounded by lush white clover and with a backdrop of the shade-tolerant  Rosa ‘Ballerina’.

This garden re-frames the idea of re-wilding and that gardens have to be left to ‘go wild’ in order for them to be beneficial for wildlife. In reality this can often mean that a few prolific species dominate, resulting in a reduced herbaceous variety and less biodiversity. This garden observes nature and takes inspiration from it whilst maintaining the balance of plants for biodiversity through light intervention.

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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.