Modern Bird Baths at the Chelsea Flower Show
Wild Birds Quickly Find Modern Bird Baths at the Chelsea Flower Show
London is a massive urban conurbation which is densely populated, thick with traffic and decidedly not wild bird friendly. Even some of the green spaces that you do see are not particularly useful to the birds. One such area is the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. For most of the year this is a relatively uninteresting open space with poor soil quality. This is because the ground is dug over every year to construct the gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show.
A Feast for Wild Birds
That poor soil means that it contains few worms. The scarcity of worms together with the lack of plant life means that the Royal Hospital offers little in the way of food and nesting sites for wild birds. That is until it is time for the Chelsea Flower Show. The grounds then become one giant avian Foodies Festival.
Insects and birds are quick to descend upon the flower show even before the display gardens have been constructed and planted. Bumblebees, ladybirds and butterflies all quickly make their way to the banquet provided by the show. The birds are always hot on their heels. No bird tables are required because the various gardens provide such excellent sources of food.
Almost overnight the previously barren landscape is transformed with mature trees, hedges, shrubs and a multitude of flowers. These are accompanied by a variety of water features. For two weeks in May, Chelsea becomes a temporary paradise for insects and wild birds. Exhibitors report that the insects start arriving as soon as the trolley loads of plants are unloaded from the trucks which deliver them.
A Bird Friendly Garden by Cleve West
Blue tits, blackbirds, house sparrows and robins can all be seen at the show and there are frequent sightings of green parakeets in the surrounding trees. The birds soon lose their fear of people in their eagerness to feed. This year, landscape designer Cleve West’s gold medal winning garden featured bird baths. The garden offered a fabulous blend of traditional and contemporary features. s and angular paving were juxtaposed with natural stone and wild flowers to create a striking effect.
Cleve West’s modern stone bird baths were used regularly by the visiting wild birds. The garden was also buzzing with insects and so it had quickly become a wildlife haven.
One wonders where all the birds and insects go when the Chelsea Flower Show is dismantled. For two weeks of the year they enjoy their new found haven only to have it taken away. It does all go to show how quickly you could attract new wildlife to your own garden. Just plant shrubs and flowers and then add wild bird feeders and a bird bath and the birds will soon start arriving.
Sources of food and good nesting sites can be hard to find in the urban environment. The wild birds are always on the look-out for favourable gardens and will soon discover yours. Just as they are always amongst the first visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show.