Last week was The Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘National Gardening Week’ where people are encouraged to get out into their gardens and get their daily dose of ‘Vitamin G’. There have been scientific links between spending time gardening and increased wellbeing! Here at PK Porthcurno we hope that our gardens can be an uplifting place for visitors and a brilliant habitat for our local wildlife to thrive.
Honey Bees and Bumble Bees help the gardens thrive
During National Gardening Week, I decided to observe the PK gardens and record the types of species that I spotted enjoying the plants! The first animal that caught my eye were honey bees. Thanks to our gardener Paddy’s beehives, the museum’s grounds have been teeming with these amazing pollinators. Although producing lots of honey as a hive, did you know that an individual bee will only create a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime?! It wasn’t just honey bees that were enjoying the flower beds, it’s been amazing to see so many larger bumble bees clumsily visiting our gardens!
Another insect that I spotted frequently was the tortoiseshell butterfly, although difficult to photograph, they are well worth it as you get to see the thousands upon thousands of tiny, shimmering scales that cover their wings. A butterfly’s wings are actually transparent, the colourful scales refract light and are part of the reason the butterflies wing colour is so vibrant and majestic.
Birds enjoy the gardens
All throughout gardening week quite a few birds spent time enjoying the wildlife in our gardens! A male blackbird was often seen hunting around, almost secretively, looking for grubs and snacks to eat! Easily identifiable by their shiny black feathers (brown on females) and orange beaks, the blackbird is the most numerous breeding bird in the UK, with roughly 6 million pairs. Small house sparrows were also hunting around the gardens, but this time for nesting materials. A male sparrow was flying between a house and the garden, stealing bits of pampa grass to insulate their ancestral homes, which will hopefully be more than suitable for chicks this summer!
Our Tevi night camera captures nocturnal activity in the garden
Finally, even when it was raining heavily and most animals were hiding, our night camera showed us that the gardens aren’t just vibrant and full of life in the day, but at night larger animals come out to enjoy the space! Roe deer have been hopping around in the grass and grazing together in pairs, and a badger even came to say hello to the camera.
Thank you to Patrick Trembath
PK’s resident gardener
All of this wouldn’t be possible without our resident gardener Patrick Trembath, who has been responsible for the upkeep of our subtropical gardens for over 20 years. Thanks to his amazing work we are able to provide a space for wildlife to thrive as well as a beautiful, colourful space for visitors to enjoy as part of the PK Porthcurno experience!
Maeve Cushla, Young Curator