Flyers going out this week but for now I’m off to the park for a picnic with the kids to have a few hours relaxing for a change!
My (non existant) sign writing skills came into play this week, I hand painted a sign onto the allotment – it took me all day!!
I’d have much preferred to have a real butterfly painted on the side, the comma, which seems to have become our ‘logo’ but I had to use specific wood paint and we had no black or orange to I had to use a bit of artistic licence on the butterfly front.
I’m not sure what the scientific types will think of that but it looks ok to me.
Planted on the Mobile Allotment are:
Sorrel, when young can be eaten as a salad leaf and is a larval plant for the small copper.
Marjoram, thyme and mint are good nectar sources for several butterflies.
Cabbages for the whites is also great.
Nettles for comma, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and peacock.
lavender (edible in small quantities as flavouring)
pot marigold (Calendula sp.), which has edible flowers
Most of the herb bed is attractive to bees and butterflies when in flower:
Particularly marjoram (especially the perennial, sometimes called pot marjoram)
Then borage, sage + rosemary (all for bees)
All the bean family (broad, French and runner beans and peas) are attractive to bees, indeed bumbles are essential to pollinate runner beans as honey bees are too light to open the flowers.
Courgettes too are bee pollinated.
Wild strawberries attract butterflies + bees but are also loved by birds (of which we have may at the park).
Concentrating on the caravan now until the opening + then i can start planning out a wee tour with allotment I hope.
Two days spent at the local school, the first making butterflies, sandwich bag ones, splat painting ones and some beautiful drawings. Today was spent planting up the mobile allotment, each child choosing a plant, given them the task of finding out which particular butterfly is attracted to their specific plants.
Great day though, the kids were all part of the school eco council and were just so keen. A few haven’t got gardens and were delighted by the idea of planting in teapots + shoes etc. They were going home to tell their Mums they can have herbs growing in tin cans on the wondow ledges :)
I had to get the planting done before thetrailer is fully finished or the plants might have died so now I have to spend some time painting the trailer with the park name and some butterflies probably.
An A-frame detatchable roof will have to be made after that too, once the plants get much taller I wouldn’t be able to tow the trailer far without them breaking. I didin’t want a ‘glasshouse’ type roof in the end,the plants are all specifically chosen to attract butterflies and bees, it seems daft to then trap them in a greenhouse. They need to be in the open air in order to do their job. So the roof will just be put on when we’re out and about travelling.
The caravan is coming along, more damp found so we’ve had to basically strip all the internal walls out and treat it, waiting for it all to dry out now and then we’re back in putting new walls in soon. Can’t have the Lepidoptera drawersI originally wanted as they won’t fir through the caravan door haha, never thought of that!!!
Decided instead to keep some of the old cupboard carcasses and will make drawers to fit, much narrower but it was only ever meant to reference an actual museum, it’s not like the butterflies in them will be real so it should be ok.
It’s an artwork at the end of the day,a working visitor centre yes but it will be more than that really.
I can’t quite believe that its only a month until the Open Day.
Sunday 8th MAY
So much to do yet, panic is starting to set in. The Caravan Visitor Centre actually has no floor at the moment as it was so rotten it fell through but I have every faith in my amazing husband/technician who is the worker of miracles.
The Butterfly Park has a work day tommorrow with 20+ volunteer workers coming from UniLever to help out, this is great and means that I can get some help with some of the projects. I have a whole day workshop making butterflies with schoolchildren Friday so can’t be there but my husband has taken the day off work and is going to supervise 2 volunteers to fix and fill the twigwam as it has some storm damage and 2 other volunteers will help him finish off the partition in the mobile allotment and make a roof cover so that I will actually be able to transport the trailer without the plants blowing away. I’ll be poppong to the park in the school lunch break just to make sure it’s all going well.
The only downside of Friday’s activities is that I’m missing the Opening of the Jaume Plensa exhibit at Yorkshire Sculpture Park AND the opening of Rebecca Chesney’s work there too, I was really looking forward to both, gutted that the date clashes.
I will be going up next week but would have loved to attend the open day, have my ticket ans everything :(
On another note, I really need a lesson in how to reverse with a trailer on the back of the car too, I’m all over the show at the moment.