Here’s my first attempt at a rooftop bug refuge. It’s simply a long slim plastic plant pot, stuffed full of dry hollow stems which I found in my kitchen and around the rooftop planters. The stems are from long dead Fig trees, Honeysuckle, Chamomile, Hollyhocks, Clematis, Elder, Reed fencing and a few old and snapped Bamboo canes. I packed it all into place with some dead Apple tree twigs (not hollow but sturdy and available) and also some beautiful Pine and Alder cones, which I collected around town.
Once assembled I wedged it between the roof fence and a Goosberry bush pot. It faces roughly south and is less exposed than most other parts of the roof terrace.
I’m more used to making big wildlife piles in quiet corners of land so I’m sure that I’ll need to improve on this a lot. But for now it offers a place for native bees, ladybirds and other useful wildlife to lay eggs and find refuge.
Making Bug Hotels was one topic at this weekend’s River of Herbs meeting. If you’d like the booklet then let me know. For more information about what we did, some useful links and details of how to make well designed bug and bee hotels, see this post on the RiverofHerbs.org website. Encouraging bees and bugs into your herb garden is something not to be overlooked. They help to pollinate your plants, keep aphids in check and generally keep your plot (however small) healthy.