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.
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.
Kelly Brenner writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat. She earned a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.