Insect Hotel

Although the mornings are frosty and the puddles are frozen there are still some amazingly hardy flowers that refuse to die back. The snapdragons are particularly colourful and it makes me think that there is a little area of Summer just behind the Nectar Bar where the frost daren’t go. The lavender is still looking good and the scabiosa has been a garden star! Even the little sunflowers are still trying to produce new heads but the bees and butterflies are no longer around to appreciate this effort.

A start has been made to the Insect Hotel – it needs a lot more packing material and the roof is just propped on at the moment but I’ve opened the doors as a little haven to anything with more that four legs!

I’ve already seen some spiders and earwigs (eeek!!) so I hope business will be brisk this Winter. As long as the clients don’t mind some construction work over the next couple of weekends I’m sure they’ll enjoy their stay!

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Winter Breaks for Insects

The mornings are darker, the air is cooler and there is definitely a whiff of Autumn in the air. With the success of the Nectar Bar this year I’m already thinking of expanding my interests into insect real estate….

There is already a simple insect dwelling like the one below by the front door. The Lacewings and Ladybirds love it and there are a few crafty little spiders who act as security guards. It’s easy to maintain, looks attractive and provides good shelter against the elements. Unfortunately, it gets a little cramped over Winter and there is only one bathroom so it’s time for an upgrade.

Okay, I need to source various materials such as bricks, drilled wood, pallets, tiles and pipes… thankfully I have a huge heap of these in the paddock and, once the thistles have died down, I’ll gather these up. I just need to think about what style to have. I like the thought of a country retreat for them but, as many of the insects around here already live in the country, they may wish to try something different.

Maybe I could build them a town house….

… or a whole metropolis! The nightlife is certainly going to be more vibrant and they’ll meet all sorts of interesting multi-legged friends. The only problem is that it took us SO long to get planning permission for the outbuildings that buiding an insect city may not be worth the stress!

On reflection I’ll probably build a simple pallet structure that is tucked away in a quiet corner similar to the one below! As an organic gardener I have to take care of the friendly bugs so that they can scare away the nasty ones (I was once told that they eat their enemies but this is too gruesome to contemplate).

Ever since I saw Malc’s insect hotel over at Green Bench Ramblings I have been mulling these ideas over so watch this space in a couple of months and you may just be surprised (hopefully in a good way!).