How does a bee see the world? Even more interestingly, how does a bee see your garden? As a place of plenty, or somewhere to fly over in search of a better source of food? A brand-new, innovative garden being planted at the Cornwall-based Eden Project seeks to answer these questions.
Many gardeners have become conscious of the need to plant bee-friendly plants in their gardens, and new software may help them become even better at it. Pollinator Pathmaker, a new permanent 55-metre-long living artwork by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg will explore the possibilities of combining art, gardening, and new digital technologies that allow us to understand bees like never before.
Pollinator Pathmaker (opens in new tab) has been commissioned by the Eden Project and is funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation. It seeks to explore gardens from the point of view of pollinators rather than people.
It uses a specially designed algorithm and specially curated palette of plants that are attractive to bees to help curate your wildlife garden ideas.
We asked Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg a few questions about the unique Pollinator Pathmaker (opens in new tab) artwork. We especially wanted to know how this fascinating crossover between art, gardening, and technology may help shift people's thinking about their own gardens.
Alexandra said that she hoped that the artwork would help people think differently: 'Planting for pollinators and to help other wildlife is increasingly celebrated, but we're still mostly selecting and arranging these plants to suit our tastes.
'What is a garden designed as a space for other species and their tastes? If pollinators designed gardens, what would they look like to humans? That's what I hope Pollinator Pathmaker gets us thinking about.'
So far, the garden exists only in artist's impressions. Alexandra described the future garden as 'dense, filled with unexpected, unconventional, and eye-catching patterns, bold drifts of colour, juxtapositions of tall and short plants, and dramatic colour clashes.'
The singular beauty of this project, in Alexandra's words, is that 'it's not the sort of thing a human gardener would normally make, nor is it what you'd find in nature. Pollinator Pathmaker creates unnatural gardens, designed for nature.'
We can't wait to see it when it's finished.
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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