Skip navigation

What's new at the Museum

3 Posts tagged with the urban_gardens tag
0

The Wildlife Garden is gorgeously green at the moment and smells ever so lush. And this weekend it unveils its lusciousness on Sunday 8 May for the first in a series of weekend events that will be happening each month until October.

ragged-robin_close-up.jpgred-campion_square.jpg

Pink delights in the Wildlife Garden, open for its first weekend event on 8 May: Left, ragged robin and right, red campion. Select all images to enlarge them

Our Spring Wildlife event on Sunday starts at midday and along with the cakes, refreshments and a plant sale, there will be great discoveries to make at the display tables dotted around and in the meadows and the big garden shed.

bluebells-garden.jpgbee-tree-wide.jpg

Join the bluebell demonstration and take a peep inside the bee tree (photographed last year) - once again home to a thriving colony this spring

You can try identifying seeds and fruits through microscopes, do a spot of leaf rubbing, find out about spring-flying insects and life in the nettle patch as well as spotting enormous tadpoles in the pond.

orange-tipped-butterfly-AurorafalterWiesenschaumkraut-950.jpg

 

If you want to learn how to attract birds or bats to your own garden, catch the advice of the experts who will be in the garden. There will also be a chance to witness a demonstration of how to survey bluebells and tell the difference between native and hybrid ones, just before they vanish for the year.

 

Walk along the pathways carpeted with plane tree seeds and secluded by pretty guelder roseand dog roses (most of the blossom has gone now) and look out for the dainty orange-tipped butterflies (right) flitting about and a few busy bees making their way back to the bee-tree colony (above). Also watch out for the cute little moorhen chicks on the pond. Caroline, the garden's manager, counted five last week.

 

There are yellow iris, red campions and ragged robin wildlflowers to enjoy too.

 

At 12.30 and 14.30, you can see more specimens close up and hear from our Nature Live team at the Springing into Life talk.in the nearby Darwin Centre Attenborough Studio.

 

Coming up next this month in the garden is the Great Museum Bioblitz on our Big Nature Day on 22 May with a tree hunt that's also being trialled this Sunday. So watch out for more news of that.

 

Find out more about the Wildlife Garden

 

Join our online bluebell survey

0

Our lovely Wildlife Garden has opened for spring and welcomes visitors on Sunday 11 April to its Yellow Book Day event.

garden_birds.jpg

Yellow Book Day is part of the National Gardens' Scheme to open gardens for charity.

 

woodpecker-rotate-left.jpg

At the daytime event, explore a bird hide installation by pastoral feltmaker Anne Belgrave, where you can try and spot some of her felt bird sculptures dotted around the garden. (With the help of some bird ID charts to hand.) One of her pretty creations is shown here on the left.

 

Become a bird detective and see if you can identify real species in the garden too. Recently a jay, heron and a pair of nesting blue-tits have joined our familiar moorhens, blackbirds and robins.

 

As well as identifying birds, enjoy spotting some incredible pond life through a microscope and find out about the garden's frogs, toads and newts.

 

Walk through the meadows and enjoy the spring plants and flowers as you browse stalls selling wild flowers, homemade tea and cakes. It's a perfect spring day out and a breath of fresh air if you've been inside the Museum's galleries for too long! Have a look at our Wildlife Garden highlights slideshow for more of a glimpse.

 

There is a bird talk in the afternoon in the Attenborough Studio about the felt bird installation by the artist Anne Belgrave, and Katrina van Grouw from the Birds Section at our Tring Museum will talk about British birds and how to identify and encourage them at home.

 

Our species of the day celebrates the jay. Unearth lots of fascinating facts about this shy yet striking, acorn-eating bird you'll find near oak trees.

1

Hooray, the first live butterflies are now fluttering around the butterfly house on the Museum's front lawn in readiness for our Butterfly Explorers exhibition opening on 8 April. As I write this, a little girl has at least one tropical beauty perched gracefully on her nose (here she is below), surrounded by photographers at today’s photo preview.

butterfly-release-girl.jpg

Luke Brown, the butterfly manager, told me that the first few hundred butterflies were released in the butterfly house last week, and by the time the exhibition opens next Thursday they are likely to have nearly doubled in numbers.

 

This year’s exhibition has a different themed butterfly house and outdoor garden to last year. It recreates habitats from the steamy tropics of Asia, Africa, South and Central America to the expansive prairie grasslands of North America and even our own parks and  gardens here in the UK. Every child gets given a passport on entry which they can stamp at each border and record important butterfly species spotted along the way. Find out more on our Butterfly Explorers website.

inside-butterfly-house-foliage.jpg

Above: Inside the butterfly house at Butterfly Explorers. Below: the blue morpho butterfly, Morpho achilles

'From next week we'll see 100s of big blue morphos (below) and owl butterflies in the butterfly house. These two fruit feeders are favourites with our visitors,' says Luke. Some pupae of moon moths are already in the hatchery and I personally can't wait to see these gorgeous creatures when they emerge.

Blue-morpho-big.jpg

 

More and more butterfly species will appear through the coming months, and about 400 to 500 pupae arrive each week.

 

The fun, outdoor British garden area of the exhibition is designed to attract butterflies, and children. If you look carefully you may see some of the 58 species living in the UK and familiar to this region. Sniff out scents and herbs here and get great gardening tips. Kids will enjoy climbing up into the tree house and getting a better view of the garden.

 

Find out about the exhibition highlights on our Butterfly Explorers website when the exhibition opens next week.