The Wild Side of Beth Chatto Gardens: the height of Spring

It is the start of that precious time of year when the natural delights come so thick and fast that there is barely time to catch up, so this blog of my latest Meet the Wandering Naturalist event is necessarily short, mostly photos and few words. It was a lovely sunny day and the two walks attracted an amazing 35 interested visitors, who I hope all went away with the sight and sound of our garden wildlife etched on their brains and buzzing in their ears.

There are always superstar plats, and this time for bumblebees and Honeybees it was the Cistus and Allium species that were playing that role…

… whereas for hoverflies, beetles and pretty much everything else it was the various umbellifers and the Euphorbias, especially in the Reservoir Garden.

There were damselflies everywhere, especially but certainly not exclusively, round the ponds.

But really there was wildlife in every corner of the garden, from the Buzzards overhead to the singing Goldcrests, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, and everywhere invertebrate life…

There were butterflies and moths, including for one of the groups Green Hairstreaks on the Thyme and several Silver Y moths, the latter newly arrived immigrants …

… spiders, including a lurid Stretch Spider and a feisty crab spider Xysticus lanio

… Common Scorpion-flies

… a myriad of true flies ….

… beetles, including several types of soldier-beetle and a Red-headed Cardinal-beetle…

… and an array of true bugs, with Dock Bugs and Hairy Shield-bugs everywhere ….

… plus the best insect of the day, a single Bronze Shield-bug, a rather scarce bug in Essex and the first time it has been found here. Always surprises to be found!

If anyone wants to join me on a nature walk around the gardens, I will be doing just that (weather permitting!) on June 21, July 19, August 2, August 16 and September 20. Once you have paid to come in, the walk is free! Walks commence at 11AM and 12 noon each day, meeting at the Visitor Information Centre.  For garden entrance tickets and more information, visit our website Beth Chatto’s Plants and Gardens, and do come expecting to want to buy some of the wildlife-attracting plants I will show you, as well as delicious tea and cakes!

Blogs of the previous Meet the Wandering Naturalist event this summer can be found here:

April: The Wild Side of Beth Chatto Gardens: among the April showers… | Chris Gibson Wildlife