‘Harrogate Borough Council is working with award-winning garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes* to open a new sort of bar in Harrogate! The idea is to have a ‘Nectar Bar’ in the Valley Gardens and an ‘In-flight garden’ on Montpellier Hill.
Paul is working with the council’s parks team to design and plant beds in public places that will increase biodiversity and create more habitats.
Both these sites are in prestigious high profile areas and will reflect two differing messages about biodiversity and simple ways to create habitats for insects.
The ‘In flight’ garden is in sight of Betty’s Tea Room and Paul says this site within the built environment has become a green island that can be planted with a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous material which will attract winged insects and small birds. He added: “The council has planted key habitat creating plants such as Onopordon, Sanguisorba and Eupatorium which all attract moths, butterflies and insects such as crab spider.
“In turn these attract small birds as a food source particularly during the chick raising life cycle. This will bring to life to an area of habitat and also create something visually stimulating to passers by.”
The second site, named the ‘Nectar Bar’ is at the heart of the Valley Gardens. It will feature bespoke ‘habitat hotels’, designed by Paul. Plants here will be particularly attractive to bees and other pollinating insects including moths, which have been highlighted as a garden insect somewhat over looked, are becoming endangered yet they are an important pollinator.
Paul adds ‘The key to the success of this type of planting is to create something which reduces overall maintenance cost to the council, has a long period of interest and, from the public’s perspective, is beautiful. Harrogate is an exemplar in terms of public planting schemes and speaking to those involved it is easy to see how good public planting can be uplifting and an inspiration, creating a sense of community and pride.”
Patrick Kilburn, Head of Parks and Open Spaces added: ‘We are delighted that Paul agreed to design these biodiverse rich schemes. We hope the completed gardens will not only provide beauty but will also inform and inspire people to consider how they can make changes to increase diversity in their own gardens. The creation of these new garden areas follows on from the work undertaken last year with Harrogate in Bloom to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity. Projects included trials of bedding plants with greater biodiverse value and taking part in the filming of a proposed BBC series fronted by Sarah Raven.”