Friday, 5 June 2009

Harry’s Garden Press Day 4th June 2009

Harry’s Garden, part of the Future Gardens/Butterfly World Project was officially opened on 4th June by Emilia Fox & David Bellamy – both patrons of Butterfly World. Around 1000 people attended the event, including 300 representatives from the gardening and national press. Clive Farrell, founder of the project, made special reference to Harry’s Garden in his speech to the press and later introduced us to Emilia Fox who has sponsored the garden.

As the press entered through the rugby posts they were greeted by bubbles from a bubble machine and Fern Alder (garden designer) wearing some impressive butterfly wings. Many of the flowers, including the alliums and sweet peas were in full bloom and looking fantastic, others such as the wild flower bank will come into their own as the summer progresses. The sunflowers (grown by Harry’s friends) are getting much taller & sturdier but won’t flower until later on, so children from Jack & Jill Nursery produced some handprint sunflowers for us to place in the border especially for press day. June Kingsbury’s resin football and rugby balls, strategically placed in Fern’s experimental straw bales, were much admired as were Fern’s green hedgehogs. & naturalistic plantings. We were delighted that Iain & Neil from the Meningitis Research Foundation and Sue from the Child Bereavement Charity were able to come along, and hope that Harry’s Garden will help raise awareness of the wonderful work these two charities do. Harry’s Garden is open until October and will then be replaced by a new charity garden each year.

The 12 Future Gardens competition gardens are all strikingly different with themes ranging from ‘Narratives of Nature’ to ‘Urban Greening’ and created by both established international designers and some less well known. They have all been designed to develop over the 4 months that the gardens remain open. The main site is amazing and children in particular will love to explore the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s edible garden, the Theatre of Insects and the ‘Through the Flowerpot’ garden, where like Alice through the looking glass you are shrunk to Lilliputian size. There’s also a giant leafcutter ant sitting atop an anthill on the edge of the site as well as a tropical butterfly house – a temporary structure until the giant dome is completed in 2011.

Although this is just Phase 1 there is lots to see and do and makes a great day out.

It’s located just off junction 21A of the M25 on the outskirts of St Albans – around a 30minutes drive from Marlow.

Opening times:

5th June – 4th October 2009

7 days a week 9.30am-6pm

Article in the St Albans and Harpenden Review

Photo gallery

Harry’s Garden Press Pack

Links to Butterfly World/Future Gardens website

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