Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Biodiversity at Chaumont

Since the 2011 Chaumont garden festival theme was concerned with biodiversity, I thought I would post some pictures to show you how well they are doing. On a hot day in July there is quite a lot of wildlife other than plants to see.

A male Hornet Mimic Hoverfly Volucella zonaria (la Volucelle zonée in French), one of the largest hoverflies, enjoying an Echinacea purpurea (below). These big hoverflies look just like they are made from glossy transparent yellow acrylic. Their larvae live in wasp nests and clean up after the baby wasps, eating their leftovers. The adults love gardens and pollinate many flowers.
This Bank Vole Myodes glareolus (le Campagnol roussâtre in French) was scurrying about in a rustic pavillion (below).
Everybody's favourite, the Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum (le Moro sphinx in French) using its long hinged tongue on a Buddleia flower (below). Sadly, Buddleia is an invasive non-native plant in Europe, and is far too often recommended as a nectar plant to attract insects in the garden. If you want to plant something that insects adore, I suggest lavender as an excellent alternative.
A Green Frog Pelophylax sp (la Grenouille verte in French) relaxing in a warm shallow pool (below). All the pools in the Festival were full of frogs and tadpoles of different ages.
The gardeners with Sculptillonage made sure they showcased wildlife, by building their own (below). These spray painted chicken wire mesh ladybirds were joined by the real thing all over the festival.


GaynorB said...

Beautiful pics Susan.

I didn't know about the problems with Buddleia. Love the shot of the hummingird hawkmoth1

BaliMoz said...

humingbird remind mi to the led Zeppeline song..

Susan said...

Gaynor: not many people are speaking out about Buddleia yet, but Clare O'Reilly, who was my tutor, is one. I can remember being completely bemused when we first arrived in the UK that people were being encouraged to plant nectar sources. I came from a background where if you wanted to encourage butterflies in the garden you planted caterpillar food plants. Nectar could be sourced anywhere by the adults.

BaliMoz: How so? (Perhaps I don't know enough Led Zep?)

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