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Sowing seeds for success at Chelsea Flower Show

06 May 2024 | BALI Member News

Award-winning biodiversity experts and Accredited Supplier Wildflower Turf hopes to ‘bee’ the difference that will make the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s wildlife-friendly garden a winner at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Hampshire-based wildflower meadow specialists are sponsoring the Bumblebee charity’s exhibit ‘Diversity Is Queen’ at the prestigious show, from 21 - 25 May.

The educational garden, to be based in the Discovery area of Chelsea’s Great Pavilion, will highlight the value of diversity in nature and the importance of creating habitats that will protect the UK’s 24 species of bumblebees from further decline.

This is the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s third year at Chelsea, having won Silver and Silver Gilt, and this year’s exhibit will be its most ambitious garden yet.

Designed by Bumblebee Conservation Trust, it is divided into four key areas to showcase some rare species of bumblebees in a range of landscapes and demonstrating the work of the Trust.

Wildflower Turf is sponsoring the charity’s exhibit with 18 square metres of Landscape 34-Bio Wildflower Turf®, which comprises 32 UK native wildflowers and 2 non-invasive grasses, to create a colourful bee-friendly environment in two areas of the garden.

These will be a machair landscape, featuring dune grassland unique to Western Scotland and north-west Ireland, with the addition of Red Clover and Kidney Vetch, a great habitat for the Yellow Bumblebee.

The second area will use Landscape 34-Bio Wildflower Turf® to create a base for a Southern flower-rich grassland, embedded with Ground Ivy, Vipers Bugloss and White Dead Nettle, it is perfect for the Shrill Carder bumblebee.

There will also be a suburban garden with a greenhouse growing tomato plants, a variety of the best common garden plants for bumblebees to pollinate and places for them to rest – demonstrating the life cycle of bumblebees. The last area will depict moorland with heather and bilberry plants.

After the Chelsea Flower Show, elements of the garden, such as a nature bench and plants, will be rehoused in schools to educate children about biodiversity.

Wildflower Turf Managing Director, James Hewetson-Brown said:

"We're thrilled to sponsor the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's Garden at Chelsea!

Bumblebees are crucial to our ecosystem, and wildflower spaces are a simple yet impactful way to offer them food and shelter. If more people embraced this approach, we'd see a positive change in bumblebee populations. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust does fantastic work educating people on creating bee-friendly gardens, and we're proud to support their mission."

Bumblebee’s Senior Education Officer Andy Benson said:

"We are delighted to be using Wildflower Turf brilliant Landscape 34-Bio Wildflower Turf® for our exhibit at Chelsea. Our conservation team compiled a list of key plants to be found in these habitats and they matched the Landscape-34 Seed Mix.

Our garden will be showcasing the value of providing a diversity of bumblebee-friendly flowers and spaces for nesting and hibernation, across a range of habitats. It was important for us to source the right plants to demonstrate sustainability at the show. Everything will come together in the last few days building the garden at Chelsea. It’s challenging to create the different profiles of the landscapes on a small area, measuring 8m x 3m, but also very rewarding."

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust team is looking forward to talking to tens of thousands of visitors over the course of the five-day show about the importance of biodiversity and protecting the bumblebee.

"That’s why we’re there - we want to inspire action."

says Andy.

"One of our key messages is to differentiate wild bees, such as bumblebees, from the domesticated honeybee, and give people the knowledge they need to help them thrive."

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