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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Twin environmental benefits from redevelopment of museum garden

The latest phase of redevelopment of a green space in central Carlisle is bringing dual environmental benefits with it. New flowerbeds being built at Tullie House are going to be planted with a range of plants specially selected to attract more bees and insects.

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Range of plants: Garden designer Ian Corri, who is leading work on the new flowerbeds at Tullie House Museum

And the material being used to build them is all stone that has been recycled.

Garden designer Ian Corri, who is leading the work, explained that the flowerbeds would be planted with species such as lavender, rosemary, sage, curry plants and other culinary and medicinal plants.

They are all plants that were familiar to the Romans but he added: “The sage family and rosemary carry a lot of nectar so you will find a lot of honeybees, bumblebees, ladybirds and butterflies will be drawn to them.

“They will not just bring the insects, they will bring the birds that feed on the insects, and the birds of prey that feed on the smaller birds. Last week there was a sparrowhawk here.”

The plants were chosen specially for their abundant nectar.

“A lot of our garden plants have been getting bigger and showier – but they don’t produce much nectar,” he said.

The work on the latest phase began two weeks ago and is likely to be finished by the middle of March.

Sandstone from old demolished buildings and other recycled stones have been used to build the flowerbeds and the paths around them.

“One of the great things about stone is that you can use it over and over again, unlike concrete,” Ian explained. “Some of those were part of a road 150 years ago and will be here for another 150 years.”

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