Tatton Park is a garden in north-west England that, in normal circumstances, hosts a flower show in July. One of my favourite small gardens in the Back to Back category at last year’s show was created by the garden’s head gardener, Simon Tetlow, and built with the help of local volunteers. Named in honour of the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book to help attract children’s attention, it was designed from a bug’s or beetle’s perspective.
Gardeners may have a love/hate relationship with creepy crawlies, but we all know our gardens wouldn’t survive without them. This garden went all out to encourage us to spare them a thought: the tidier our outdoor areas are, the fewer places insects have to live.
Slices from the trunk of a 330 year old beech tree that had come down in a storm were used to make two huge log piles that ran the length of the garden on both sides. Clay drainage pipes stuffed with moss filled any gaps and formed a third wall.
The planting included lavender, verbena and buddleia to please bees and butterflies while topiary balls added some neat formality (and made me think of a huge green caterpillar).
While few people in England’s small cottages and terraced houses will go so far as to recreate this quirky garden at home, it was hard to see it without breaking out in a smile and thinking about the question it posed: “Is there anything I can do that will make my garden more of a wildlife sanctuary?”
37 Replies to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Garden (Tatton Park 2019)”
What a glorious post indeed. Just wonderful, and such a fabulous garden. Ours is definitely a wildlife sanctuary but mostly due to over grown sections. Wish ours was as beautiful as this
As I have been replying! At least you have the comfort of thinking insects are making hay in your garden.
So inventive- thanks for the read!
My pleasure, Lauren.
How absolutely fabulous! I have a few of those clay drainage pipes and have been wondering what to do with them, first thought was to fill with a heavy gritty compost and grow sempervivums.
That would be good too.
That was one of my favorite books when I was a little kid.
Perhaps it inspired you to take your career path.
I grew up near the last remnants of the formerly vast orchards of the Santa Clara Valley. That is what did it.
What a lovely garden idea. The photos are wonderful as well. The value of our creepy crawling friends is often underrated but make all the difference to the health of our garden and world. Thanks for sharing this information in a post.
It all goes to show how much the world has changed too. When I was a child, there were so many more areas for them to live in.
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