Peter and Ed spreading shredded bark in the new 'Bug Village'

Peter and Ed spreading shredded bark in the new ‘Bug Village’

Apologies for the title, but I couldn’t resist it. I guess a more serious alternative would be ‘weaving and strewing’!

So my latest session at Blickling Hall involved working with fellow volunteer Peter and Gardener Ed on a new project in part of the Dell Garden; this is an area that’s looked a little neglected for some time and it was good to see some work to create something different.

This was a really fun, creative day as we helped Ed work up his idea of creating a ‘Bug Village’ of different insect hotels/habitats (with fun historical references to Blickling’s owners) in a largely shady and overgrown spot.

Ed had already done some clearing of the ground and had in his mind a rough layout. We started by continuing the hazel pea stick fence he’d begun which provides a really effective, simple, permeable barrier through which you can see into different parts of the area. These sticks are harvested every year from the Estate and put to use to support climbers and vegetables of various sorts. Peter hammered in a metal fence post to create holes about 6″ apart and I pushed home the sticks and wove them together.

After this we collected several loads of shredded bark and strew these over the areas where the bug hotels were to go- a mixture of different types of habitat and mixed in with some impressive stumps and enormous slices of chestnut tree felled elsewhere in the estate and, as Ed said ‘no good for firewood’. It was great ‘designing on the hoof’ with Ed and Peter, creating bays and spots where different elements of the layout could be best fitted in.

In particular there is an elevated spot overlooking the rest of the space which would make a wonderful spot for a seat, and Ed had already identified a wonderful piece of timber- a half round slice of Oak, I think, which would make the perfect base for this. We also helped to gather smaller edging logs which further helped to define the space and again filled in around and shrubs trees with more shredded bark.

On the way...

On the way…

It will be great to see how Ed progresses this in the coming weeks and what visitors think of this new feature- created from recycled materials from around the Estate.

 Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener