Nectar gardening at Butterfly World, Chiswell Green

PUBLISHED: 14:46 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:13 20 February 2013

Future Gardens features contemporary show gardens at the inaugural launch phase of Butterfly World at Chiswell Green, near St Albans. Philippa Pearson finds out about this exciting project and the future plans for this conservation site

Butterfly World is set to make an impact on the world of conservation, St Albans and gardening. Launched by Sir David Attenborough and David Bellamy earlier this year, Butterfly World's opening phase is Future Gardens with a display of 13 designer show gardens open from June to October. Selected from entrants from around the world, the gardens blend conservation and sustainability details with contemporary design features. Designers amongst the 13 gardens include Hertfordshire-based Jane Hudson and Erik De Maeijer, RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold medallist Andy Sturgeon, designers from France and Italy and new faces to the gardening world. Viewed from above, the gardens take the shape of a Giant Privet Hawk Moth caterpillar. Future Gardens will be an annual event at Butterfly World with new show gardens open each year.

Also on the site are a series of permanent gardens. These include some of the richest wildflower meadows in Britain, land art walkways in the shape of antennae, a chrysalis shaped pond, a spiral proboscis walk, the British Butterfly Garden, the Dame Miriam Rothschild Garden and a butterfly feature garden in the centre of the dome site. Three leaf-shaped gardens also feature: 'Through the Flowerpot Garden' allows visitors to see things from an insect's eye view whilst children can design their own gardens in the 'Spangle Gall Garden' and man-made objects feature in the 'Unexpected Habitats Garden'.

All gardens are designed to attract native butterfly and insect species and show how innovative and contemporary design can work side by side with conservation. By 2011, the biome centrepiece will be open featuring a living rainforest and 10,000 tropical butterflies.

RHS Silver-Gilt medal winner Philippa Pearson is a garden designer and professional horticulturalist. Tel: 01767 651253 or email Philippa at

Open daily, 9.30am to 6pm
until 4th October

Future Gardens
Miriam Lane
Off Noke Lane
Chiswell Green
Herts AL2 3NY
Tel: 01727 869203

Admission: Adults 12.50, children (under 16) 5.00, Senior/Conc 9.50, Family ticket 32.00. Under 3's free. Groups welcome, please book at least one week in advance.

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