In a continuation of the insect theme from the post about the Beyond the Hive Competition, here are some more examples of interesting designs, from simple to extravagant. Insects are getting the luxury treatment in a number of garden and structure designs recently. Many of these structures are made with reclaimed materials such as egg cartons, broken stones, tiles and concrete, gathered twigs, hay and dead wood, and old plant containers. The creativity of the variety of projects is great to see. Do a Google image search for ‘insect hotel’ to see the variety of ideas that are out there.
From the Chelsea Flower Show a year ago, there was a garden titled Future Nature Garden which featured a number of ecological design elements such as stormwater retention, a green roof and a couple of interesting structures. The idea of the garden was to make it practical enough that anyone could implement the design ideas. Some other design features included a living tower with drought-resistant plants, butterfly mounds and insect towers also planted with drought-resistant plants.
Visit the website to see a 360° tour with a description of the garden.
View a video tour of the garden and hear the designers explain the ideas behind the garden design.
There’s a good article on the Guardian’s Gardening Blog about making a wildlife stack with some good detailed instructions.
How to make a mini wildlife stack
Here is a good visual page about making a mini-beast mansion from Wild About Your Garden on the BBC. Mini-beast mansion (pdf)
This example comes from the Wildlife Trust’s publication Building an Invertebrate Habitat (pdf). The document also contains detailed directions on how to build a structure like this. It’s a good resource to find out the basics of what’s required for a structure like this and then can be used as a base to come up with other creative designs.
Here are a couple more good design resources.
How to make a habitat wall – Sussex Wildlife Trust
The Bug Hotel
Kelly has a certificate from the University of Washington in non-fiction writing. She continually takes classes and attends talks on various natural history topics. In 2009 she earned a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.
She's also an avid photographer focusing on the natural world.