The ‘Bat Garden’

My name is Jennifer and I’m a Garden e-Designer. My aim is to design gardens that are not only fantasy / futuristic in style, but also provide a habitat for urban wildlife. I have found that it is possible to create interesting and harmonious designs by combining these elements. Even if one’s dream garden, or vision of the future, is a rectilinear design in steel and glass, it can still include urban wildlife habitats. I for one, imagine a future where new design solutions and nature form symbiotic gardens. Urban wildlife is adaptable, and may feel as much at home in a suitable man-made structure, as in the wild. Plants come in so many forms that there are species to compliment any concept, no matter how unusual. South Africa has a great many unusual plant species to choose from.

I designed the Bat Garden to show how the same spatial concept and wildlife-friendly elements can be brought to life in

two entirely different styles. The Formal Bat Garden is made up of straight lines and modern materials, while the Informal Bat Garden uses curved lines and natural materials. Through the use of colour, shape and optical illusion, the Bat Garden design adds a feeling of space to this small site. Both of these designs use flowering plants and invertebrate towers to support insect life, which in turn, attracts insectivorous bats to the bat boxes on the second story wall. Bat boxes (or owl / bird homes) make an interesting feature for a high and inaccessible space, which is often ignored, but can still serve a very important function. The bats feel secure in this space, and add interest to the garden.

Jennifer Mitchell


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