RHS and Eden Project bring a butterfly-filled rainforest to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Our-First-Home-17_ROT1The Royal Horticultural Society and the Eden Project are to create the UK’s largest butterfly rainforest experience at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (9 – 14 July).

The RHS Butterfly Dome with Eden is a re-creation of Eden’s world-famous Rainforest Biome in a 25m diameter, 9m high dome. Visitors will be plunged into the heart of a steamy jungle on an elevated walkway surrounded by tropical palms, trees, climbers and orchids.

While exploring this rich, diverse habitat, people will be able to spot the magnificent shapes and colours of 3,000 tropical butterflies - the largest exhibited collection in the UK including some unusual varieties such as the Blue Morpho and Owl butterflies.

There will be the chance to see the butterflies sipping from nectar plants and feeding stations throughout the garden. Visitors will also have the opportunity to witness young butterflies emerge from their chrysalises in a viewing cage.

Mandy Almond, RHS Hampton Show Manager, said: “Bringing the UK’s largest butterfly rainforest experience to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is an extremely exciting and challenging project, which will create a truly tropical spectacle for visitors at this year’s Show. The Dome will give visitors the chance to see the life-cycle of this remarkable insect and marvel at the astounding variety of shapes and colours they display.”

Paul Stone, Eden’s Landscape Manager and designer of the Dome, said: “The Dome will bring Eden to the biggest flower show in the world, offering visitors the opportunity to walk through a forest canopy, surrounded by butterflies. The garden champions important messages about plants and people, biodiversity and sustainable environments. Both Eden and the RHS are passionate about raising awareness of these issues”.

The Eden Project will also be bringing its popular Freaky Nature family activities including viewing the fascinating microscopic world of bugs and beasties, getting up close and learning about the insect world. There will also be a butterfly-making workshop, where children can make butterflies which will be used as part of a display at Eden.

The RHS Butterfly Dome with Eden will be created to celebrate the June launch of the Eden Project’s new Rainforest Aerial Walkway and the introduction of nearly 20 species of tropical butterfly into the Rainforest Biome this summer.

The exhibit will form part of a Butterflies and Bees Area at the Show where visitors can learn about native plants and insects as well as tropical ones. The Native Butterfly Garden, by Butterfly Jungles, will create the ideal habitat to encourage butterflies into UK gardens. The garden will be fluttering with Peacocks, Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells and Commas feeding from flowering shrubs, wildflowers and garden plants. Complementing this will be a garden for bees. The Bee Garden is a haven for pollinators, bursting with ideas to tempt honey and solitary bees with nectar and pollen-rich plants. Both of these exciting gardens showcase many of the plants and flowers from the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list*.

Mandy continued: “As well as creating amazing sights and experiences for visitors, the Butterflies and Bees Area is all about sharing ideas and ways to support British pollinators. As so many of us are concerned about our bees and butterflies we’re sure The Native Butterfly Garden and The Bee Garden will be popular with visitors and will encourage growing plants and flowers from the RHS Perfect for Pollinators list.”

About RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (9 – 14 July 2013)

9 – 10 July RHS members only

11 – 14 July RHS members and non-members

9 – 13 July 10am – 7.30pm

14 July 10am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4.30pm)

Each full-paying adult may bring two children aged 16 and under free of charge to the show.

Tickets for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show are available in advance or on the gate. To buy tickets, visit www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt or by calling 0844 338 7506.

*RHS Perfect for Pollinators

The RHS Perfect for Pollinators list identifies those plants that will benefit bees and other pollinating insects by providing pollen and nectar from early Spring to late Autumn. By planting a broad range of appropriate plants gardeners can encourage and sustain pollinating insects which, in turn, will attract other forms of wildlife, such as birds and hedgehogs, into gardens.

For the full list of Perfect for Pollinator plants, go to www.rhs.org.uk/perfectforpollinators

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.