Bringing birds to Chelsea Flower Show

Bringing birds to Chelsea Flower Show

24 May 2022

JAY DAY Plants. Michelle Reeve

Our Garden BirdWatch team is attending Chelsea Flower Show this year, to celebrate the ways we can bring birds to our gardens. 

Bird-loving landscape design duo Flock Party approached BTO after their balcony garden JAY DAY was accepted to the 2022 show. Acting as scientific advisor, BTO collaborated with Flock Party to reshape a small, urban space into a haven for wildlife.

The Bronze-winning balcony design is particularly focused on attracting the Jay, a charismatic species which has historically been reported in as many as 30% of London gardens. However, this number has fallen in recent years, potentially due to the decreasing number of mature oak trees producing acorns for Jays to eat. 

JAY DAY Balcony Garden. Flock Party
JAY DAY Balcony Garden. Flock Party 

Plants were chosen for the garden with Jays in mind, and include Hazelnut, a source of nuts for Jays, and Sheet Moss Hypnum cupressiforme which is used by Jays to plug acorn cache holes. Flock Party also included a shading structure arching over the balcony to replicate a woodland canopy, giving Jays cover and shelter, and a rattan latticework which holds various nesting materials like leaves, mosses and dry grasses.

Although the garden aims to attract Jays, it also caters to other wildlife, from providing Lingonberries for birds to nectar sources like Crimson Clover and Dog Violet for hungry pollinators. Various elements of the garden can also be adapted to cater to different bird species, and Flock Party encourage visitors to the garden to imagine the balcony in the eyes of a bird - what do I need, who are my predators and where would I be coming from? - to decide which structures and plants are most suitable for the target species. 

We are thrilled to be working with Flock Party on their JAY DAY balcony garden entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Flock Party are conscientious landscape designers and have created a garden not only to attract Jays, but also to encourage other vital garden wildlife to thrive in a space that people would be able to use and enjoy. Dr Michelle Reeve  Garden BirdWatch Manager 
Michelle Reeve

Making space for birds

You can make a difference to the way humans and birds live together.

Donate to our Urban Appeal today

Gardens are vital natural habitats, but we need to understand more about how birds and other wildlife use them in order to improve our towns, cities and individual gardens for nature. Using records submitted by thousands of members of the public, the Garden BirdWatch team and BTO’s researchers can learn about how populations of birds and other wildlife are changing, and how they use the food, shelter and other resources in our gardens.

The Chelsea Flower Show runs from Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th May, and BTO will be in attendance at the JAY DAY garden from Wednesday onwards. 

Get involved

If you’re interested in learning more about the birds and other wildlife in your garden, joining Garden BirdWatch is a great place to start. Simply sign up, and start recording sightings of birds (and other wildlife) you can identify.

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