Spectacular Spring Butterfly Count

The environment in the garden is clearly working for our wildlife as this recent report and picture from Keith Powrie,  (our friendly expert in lepidopterology and odonatology) shows :-

Orange Tip
Courtesy and © Keith Powrie

“Last week’s count was pretty spectacular.
21 butterflies seen of 5 species:10 Brimstone; 2 Green-veined White; 7 Orange Tip and 1 each Peacock & Speckled Wood

This week with a temp of 25°C (Compared to 13 last week)
only 13 butterflies seen:4 Brimstone; 7 Orange Tip and 2 Speckled Wood.

However, the first damselflies of the season were spotted.
2 Large Red Damselflies, 1 at the Upper Falls Pond and another at the north end of the gardens.

Also a pair of Buzzards were observed chasing a Red Kite out of their territory behind the tunnels.

And a Grass Snake was seen swimming across Upper Falls Pond, eventually taking refuge under the overhanging Gunnera leaves.

Quite a jolly day out!”

Midsummer Concert

Experimental midsummer music in glorious Knoll Gardens

Fans of experimental music have a rare opportunity to hear In C by Terry Riley, one of the greatest living minimalist composers, in the glorious surroundings of Knoll Gardens in Wimborne in June.

Tickets for this midsummer evening concert are £10 and gates open at 7pm. Audience members are encouraged to bring rugs, blankets and a picnic to best enjoy this innovative meditative 1960s experience in the garden.

Ticket numbers are limited and can be booked online through knollgardens.co.uk. The performance is taking place as a fundraiser for the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

Following their 2018 appearance at Knoll, Dorset-based musical ensemble Gerauschhersteller will return with a special midsummer outdoor performance of Riley’s acclaimed composition at 7.30pm on Friday 21 June.

Riley composed In C in 1964 as 53 short repeated melodic and rhythmic cells in C major. How often each melody is repeated, or how coloured or intensified, is completely the choice of each individual player. Every version is different and the beauty of the piece lies in the variety of harmonic and rhythmic detail generated by these simple cells.

Terry Riley was among the most revolutionary composers of the post-war era; famed for his introduction of repetition into Western music motifs, he also masterminded early experiments in tape loops and delay systems which left an indelible mark on the experimental music produced in his wake.

Stuart Riddle, speaking on behalf of the group, said “In C uses very simple components, and some simple rules, to create a piece that is different and new each time someone plays it – it can be meditative, intense, or even funky. We are really honoured that Knoll Gardens have given us the opportunity to perform on the evening of the summer solstice and take this piece back to its roots in 1960s counterculture and Terry Riley’s own all night performances”

Gerauschhersteller’s new CD features highlights of their 2018 performance at Knoll.

Glow-worm Larvae spotted

Those present during the Wildlife Gardeners Question time segment of our  First Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture would have heard Nick Dobbs mention that he had recently seen glow worm lavae in Knoll Gardens.

Nick is overseeing our reptile surveys at Knoll and has kindly provided some words and pictures for our benefit (below)

Lampyris noctiluca is the glow-worm species most often seen in the UK. These nocturnal beetles, known as common glow-worms, are found across Europe and Asia. It can be tricky to tell common glow-worm females and larvae apart, as they both have similar-looking segmented bodies. But the larvae have distinct reddish spots on the outside edges of each segment, which don’t occur on adult females.

Glow Worm (Lampyris noctiluca)
Picture: Courtesy and © Nick Dobbs

Good for gardeners, the larvae prey on snails. Adults don’t eat anything.

Males can fly and are distinguishable from females by the hard wing case covering their bodies and their far smaller size. Adult female glow-worms have a large, light-producing organ at the end of their abdomens. At night they use a bright, steady stream of yellowish-green light to attract flying males. During the day they burrow underground to avoid predators.

Glow Worm (Lampyris noctiluca)
Picture: Courtesy and © Nick Dobbs

A female will climb to a high point, such as a grass stem, and turn her glowing light upwards. This ensures that she is as visible as possible to flying males. Adult female grow up to 20mm in length, and live for a few weeks, until they mate and lay their eggs.

Their lights are bioluminescent – the natural production of light by an organism created by a chemical reaction.

Our thanks to Nick Dobbs

 

2020 Lecture – Applications Invited

Apply now for free garden biodiversity lecture

Applications are now being taken for the annual Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture. Any local community organisations with an interest in gardens, conservation and wildlife can apply to host the free lecture which will be presented in 2020 by Neil Lucas, RHS Council member and Senior Judge, and the UK’s leading ornamental grass specialist.

The Community Lecture is one of a series of events run by the Knoll Gardens Foundation (KGF), the Wimborne-based horticultural charity. The charity offers practical advice and guidance on how to garden responsibly without sacrificing beauty.

It is easy to apply. Simply choose one of three lecture topics and complete a simple form (from the link blow). The lecture will be presented free of charge, to an organisation selected by KGF trustees.

Neil Lucas is in great demand as an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. The owner of Knoll Gardens, he also holds ten Chelsea Gold Medals, is the author of the best-selling book ‘Designing with Grasses’ and has been a Council Member at the RHS since 2012.

For Application Form and Terms (select image to view/download)

Completed applications must be received by 31 August 2019.

Foundation Events for 2019

Every year the Knoll Gardens Foundation hosts a wide range of events for adults and children designed to meet the charity’s objective of promoting low-impact, wildlife-friendly gardening. In addition to our public events programme, we welcome members of community groups, including art groups, camera clubs, horticultural societies and local wildlife organisations, to the garden, free of charge, on specifically designated days. We also offer free admission days to teachers and volunteers.

This year’s events are listed below, together where applicable, with the costs of taking part. These, together with Knoll’s own horticultural events, can be booked via the Knoll Gardens website.

Key

GW = Guided walk
FF = Family friendly
CD = Community day
TOD = Teachers’ open day
VOD = Volunteers’ open day

Fri 3 May 2019 (GW) Bee walk
Discover the fascinating world of bees and begin to identify the species in your own garden.
11.15am – 12.15pm £5.50 Book online

Fri 3 May 2019 (VOD) Volunteer recruitment day
Find out how to get involved in the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation and meet some of our current team of volunteers.
10.30am – 1pm FREE No booking required

Thurs 6 June 2019 (GW) Bat walk
Explore Knoll Gardens before following a guided walk to identify the bats that live in or visit the garden.
8.45pm £6.50 Book online

Fri 7 June2019 (VOD) We Value Volunteers
In celebration of National Volunteers’ Week we offer free admission to everyone who gives up valuable time in any volunteering capacity. Relax and stroll around Knoll’s wonderful naturalistic garden and find out about the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation.
10am – 3pm FREE with proof of volunteering status

Fri 21 June (FF) Get Dorset Buzzing Roadshow (with Dorset Wildlife Trust)
Fun activities, and hints and tips for all ages, to help encourage pollinating insects into your gardens. Find out about pollinator-friendly plants, bee & insect hotels, wild areas and more!
10am – 5pm Free on production of DWT membership card or Adult £6.50 / child £4.50

Fri 21 June (CD) NGS Open Day
The NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country. Your visit today will help its work.
10am – 5pm Normal admission charge will be donated to NGS

Fri 21 June 2019 Outdoor concert: In C by Terry Riley
Midsummer concert by Dorset-based experimental music ensemble Gerauschhersteller.
7.30pm £10 (bring rugs & picnic) Book online

Fri 28 June (CD) Local Art Group Open Day
Local art groups are invited to contact us to enjoy a free day’s painting in the garden on this specially designated day.
10am – 4pm Free

Fri 5 July (CD) Local Horticultural Groups and Societies
Local groups are invited to contact us to enjoy a free day in the garden on this specially designated day.
10am – 4pm Free

Fri 12 July 2019 (GW) Bee walk
Discover the fascinating world of bees and begin to identify some of the species in your own garden.
11.15am – 12.15pm £5.50 Book online

Fri 12 July (CD) Bournemouth Natural Science Society Open Day
The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes staff, members and volunteers of BNSS to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife-friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’.
10am – 4pm Free

Fri 19 July 2019 (GW) Butterfly walk
Identify and record Knoll’s butterflies in the week of the national Big Butterfly Count.
11am – 12.30pm £5.50 Book online

Fri 12 July 2019 (CD) Butterfly Conservation Society Open Day
The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes staff, members and volunteers of the BCS to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’.
10am – 4pm Free

Fri 2 Aug 2019 (CD) Local Camera Club Open Day
Local camera clubs are invited to contact us to enjoy a free day’s photography in the garden on this specially designated day.
10am – 4pm Free

Mon 5 Aug 2019 (GW) Bat walk
Explore Knoll Gardens before following a guided walk to identify the bats that live in or visit the garden.
8.15pm £6.50 Book online

Tues 6 Aug 2019 Annual Garden Wildlife Survey (with Dorset Wildlife Trust)
Join experts and volunteers to survey and record Knoll’s wildlife.
10am – 3pm Adult £6.50 / child £4.50
No booking required

Sat 17 Aug 2019 (FF)  Children’s Wildlife Safari
Family workshop to inspire a love of nature from a young age. Activities may include pond dipping, moth trapping and bug hunting.
10.30am – 12.30pm £4.50 per child + £2 per accompanying adult
To book please email; education@knollgardens.co.uk

Fri 23 Aug 2019 (VOD) Volunteer recruitment day
Find out how to get involved in the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation and meet our current team of volunteers.
10.30am – 1pm FREE No booking required

Fri 13 Sept 2019 Dorset Wildlife Trust Members’ Day
Find out how Dorset’s biggest conservation charity works to support and improve the environment. Free admission to existing Dorset Wildlife Trust members and volunteers – or to anyone joining DWT on the day!
10am – 5pm Adult £6.50 / child £4.50
No booking required

Fri 20 Sept 2019 (CD) Local Art Group Open Day
Local art groups are invited to contact us to enjoy a free day’s painting in the garden on this specially designated day.
10am – 4pm Free

Fri 27 Sept 2019 (CD) NGS Open Day
The NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country. Your visit today will help its work.
10am – 5pm Normal admission charge will be donated to NGS

Sat 19 Oct 2019  (TOD) Teachers’ Open Day
Acknowledging the valuable work of teachers and offering help with wildlife-friendly activities.
0am – 5pm FREE No booking required

May 3 Join Us – 2019 Volunteer days

The work of the Foundation could not be delivered without the help of our dedicated volunteers and we are always interested in talking to potential new recruits.

In addition to the information on this website (more details on our Support Us page) , anyone interested in finding out more about the opportunities available can meet up with other volunteers and trustees at one of our Volunteer Recruitment Open Mornings on 3 May and 23 August between 10.30 and 1pm. And as an added bonus, potential volunteers are welcome to stay on and spend time in the garden in the afternoon.

Volunteers at work in Knoll Gardens

 

April 27th Foundation Community Lecture

As part of its campaign to combat the decline of pollinating insects in our gardens Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is hosting a special Get Dorset Buzzing event at Wimborne’s Allendale Centre on 27 April.

Aimed at everyone interested in gardening for wildlife, the evening begins with a talk on how planting can open up your garden to wildlife before a ‘Wildlife Gardener’s Question Time’ session featuring a panel of experts ready to answer questions and offer practical advice to get your garden buzzing.

Neil Lucas, gardening guru, holder of ten consecutive Chelsea Gold Medals and one of the UK”s leading plantsmen, will begin the wildlife-friendly evening with his talk, Plants, Gardens and Wildlife: the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

Neil established a charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation, in 2008 to look at the relationship between his planting style and the wildlife found in his Wimborne-based garden. His talk will explain more about his planting methods at Knoll, whilst also exploring the Knoll Gardens Foundation’s work in researching and promoting the benefits of naturalistic gardening to wildlife.

Neil Lucas said, “I am delighted to be able to work with DWT on such an important campaign as Get Dorset Buzzing. This will be a very special evening for me as it will also mark the first Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture. We launched the annual scheme last year to mark the charity’s 10th anniversary and chose DWT to receive the first ever lecture. I am really pleased to be able deliver this talk as part of Get Dorset Buzzing and help raise awareness of such an important issue.”

Bumblebee at Kingcombe
Picture: Courtesy and © Catherine Bolado

Peacock Butterfly
Picture: Courtesy and © Ken Dolbear MBE

Nicky Hoar, Community Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust added, “If all the private gardens in Dorset were put together they’d create an area larger than Bournemouth and Christchurch combined. That is an area that could offer huge potential for our troubled pollinators. Through Get Dorset Buzzing we are asking householders in Dorset to come together to make a difference and do one thing to help pollinators in your garden. Our aim is to get our local gardens buzzing with life.”



Get Dorset Buzzing is a Dorset Wildlife Trust Initiative. Find out more from their Get Dorset Buzzing Link below:

 

Tickets for the event at the Allendale on 27th April are£8 for adults and £5 for children (under 16).

Book at www.theallendale.org or ring 01202 887247.

First Bat Walk sold out – more dates

Please note that our first bat Walk of 2019 on 11th April has Sold Out but remember more dates are available!

Daubenton’s Bat (pic courtesy of John J Kaczanowj)

Jan Freeborn leads walks, using her years of experience and the latest technology to help identify the bats found in the garden.

Bees are the focus of wildlife walks in May and July and our annual butterfly walk takes place in July also.

Early booking is recommended if you are interested in joining any of our walks.

Find out more and book at http://www.knollgardens.co.uk/events

New Garden Wildlife Surveys 2019

In addition to established surveys of moths, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, birds and bats, two new investigations will be undertaken in 2019.


Ten reptile ‘refugia’, in the form of corrugated metal sheets, have been laid out to provide a refuge for reptiles. Once established, they will be regularly monitored and records kept of what is found sheltering underneath them. Visitors to the garden are asked not be tempted to lift the sheets as this may disturb any sheltering snakes or lizards.
Common Lizard – Photo courtesy of Nick Dobbs


Foundation volunteers are also about to undertake their first dedicated mammal survey thanks to the help of the Dorset Mammal Group. A previous annual Garden Wildlife Survey recorded a yellow necked mouse at Knoll and it is hoped to find its descendants alive and well.
Yellow Necked Mouse