Birds and Bees' hotel
One of the things that struck me on my recent visits to Europe were that every botanic garden I visited seemed to have a structure designed to attract beneficial insects--a sort of "Bug Hotel" or condominium complex. I took pictures of these at several botanic gardens, intending to show them to my colleagues to inspire them to do something similar. Wouldn't you know, Katy Wilcox (one of our outstanding propagation department staff) had unbeknownst to me gone out and done just that. And with typical flair, Denver's habitat is unusually stylish and beautiful: one of the large pedestals for sculptures left over from previous exhibitions had not had a sculpture designated this year, and rather than have it sitting empty and forlorn, Katy and her volunteers combined these wonderful containers with the minihabitats! Enchanting!
Beneficials condominiums at Wurzburg Botanic Gardens
One of the most extensive such "condos" was at Wurzburg's astonishing botanic garden (one of the finest I have ever visited)--the holes of different sizes in different media attract a wide spectrum of bees, beetles and other insects which help with pollination and increasing the biodiveristy of garden fauna (a good thing). and I find these quite intriguing...
Hamburg's elegant habitat hotel
Of course, the fantastic botanic garden in Hamburg, Germany HAD to have a particularly elegant structure--which looked so good I was tempted to move in. There is a whole movement in America to make our gardens more ecologically responsible and friendly to the little beasties (who can be spooky--but our very existence ultimately depends on their well being)...check out the Habitat Hero website to learn more about this important movement. And maybe next year you can construct your own habitat hotel!