Bespoke Gardens, UK Garden Design, London Garden Designers

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2008

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2008
Papillon Pavilion
Papillon Pavilion
Papillon Pavilion
Papillon Pavilion
Wildflowers and main border
Wildflowers and main border
Shade sail silhouettes
Shade sail silhouettes
Sun Chariot Armchairs
Sun Chariot Armchairs
Midsummer butterfly border
Midsummer butterfly border

The garden is entitled "Papillon Pavilion" and is all about butterfly conservation, sustainabilty and modern garden design.


“Papillon Pavilion” shows that modern garden design, butterfly conservation and respect for the environment can go hand in hand. The garden has been built of sustainably sourced materials and an attempt has been made to avoid materials where toxic chemicals are used in production. Despite the garden’s green credentials, the design forms, materials, colours and fabrics are surprisingly chic, proving that you don’t have to don a hair shirt to save the planet.

Protecting the environment is a key component in the fight to halt the steep decline in butterfly numbers but “Papillon Pavilion” goes a step further, demonstrating some of the special features that can be incorporated into gardens specifically to promote butterfly conservation.

“Papillon Pavilion” may be about butterflies, but gardens are for people too, so at the heart of the garden is a pavilion, providing a cool and airy place for relaxation and enjoyment of the flowers and the butterflies.

“Papillon Pavilion” is a garden for butterflies, for people and for the planet. All three are inextricably linked in this garden, just as the butterfly is integral to our art, our language and even our psychology – the ancient Greek for butterfly is psyche. Interestingly, the Latin for butterfly is papilio – from which we derive the word “pavilion”.


There are a number of simple things that we can do to create favourable conditions for butterflies in our own gardens:

Grow nectar plants: Butterflies feed on nectar – so growing a range of nectar-rich plants, will provide a rich source of food. Here, a sunny summer border contains many butterfly nectar plants in an attractive display. In addition, the many wildflowers in the area of long grass provide further food options. Note that some flowers, such as Achillea, Geranium and Stachys are found in both wild and cultivated forms in this garden.

Create sheltered conditions: Butterflies like a warm and sheltered spot. This garden is south-facing and sunny, with a high fence on the north side to provide shelter.

Leave some long grass: Certain species of butterfly breed in long grass, which the caterpillars eat. In this garden, part of the lawn area has been left to grow long, with many species of native British wildflowers growing in the grass. The mown path acts as a foil to the longer, shaggier grass.

Provide a roost: Butterflies like a sheltered high spot to roost overnight. Here, a Hawthorn and a Mulberry provide high roosts. The Hawthorn is also attractive to butterflies

Grow fruit: Butterflies also feed off soft fruit that is allowed to fall and rot. as well as fruit that may fall and rot. Here some of the Mulberries can be left to ripen and fall.

Cater for caterpillars To allow butterflies to complete their lifecycle in your garden, you should grow some plants as food for butterfly larvae, or caterpillars. For example, nettles, holly and ivy, buckthorn, hop and thistles. “Papillon Pavilion” is part of a larger garden that would also contain certain of these larval food plants.


As Thomas Church famously said “Gardens are for people“. Some simple design concepts are used in the “Papillon Pavilion” garden are:

Provide somewhere to sit: Include a level area with a hardwearing and practical surface for sitting and relaxing in the garden, and then provide some comfortable furniture. The furniture displayed in the pavilion belongs to a new range of furniture suitable for the conservatory and other parts of the home or office. It is made of sustainably forested oak, and upholstered in a sumptuous fabric made of organic cotton and bamboo. For full details about the Sun Chariot range of furniture see

Create some shade A parasol will do but better still are robust structures such as a plant-covered pergola, a gazebo, or even a pavilion. The design challenge for this garden was to create a simple structure that is contemporary, attractive, easy to deliver and install in a back garden, provides a level surface for seating, provides shelter from sun and wind, and is made of sustainable materials. The pavilion can be erected on any firm level base, its sturdy frame incorporating a decked platform. One or more component cubes can be bolted together to make a pavilion, which can then be customised with shade sails to provide protection from sun and wind.

Give a choice of routes Rather than a single straight path from A to B, provide options so the garden can be enjoyed from different angles. Here, a neatly mown grass path separates and defines a formal border and a wildflower area. A more robust boardwalk provides an alternative and more direct approach to the pavilion


When planning a garden, there is much we can do to protect the delicate ecosystems of our planet:

Avoid toxic chemicals, It is believed that the accumulation of chemicals in the environment and the degradation of natural habitats play a key role in the decline in butterfly numbers. Timber used for the pavilion is Douglas fir, which is suitable for outdoor joinery without chemical treatment. The colour stain is made of natural oils and pigments. The fabric panels in the pavilion are made of organic cotton, which has been water-proofed using an environmentally friendly treatment.

Reduce your carbon footprint Cement production is responsible for over 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Materials transported over long distances contain high embodied energy. No cement has been used in the creation of this garden. The timber was grown in Germany and has not travelled half way around the world.

Protect water resources As world population density increases and as water becomes an ever-scarcer resource, it is shocking to discover that hundreds of litres of water are used and discharged (often containing toxic chemicals) in the production of modern fabrics. The fabric panels used in this pavilion are made from an organic linen/cotton mix, produced at a mill with a dedicated wastewater treatment facility.

Specify sustainable materials Illegal logging and poor forestry management practices destroy forest ecosystems as well as local livelihoods, impacting directly on a range of life forms. The timber used for the pavilion originates from a sustainably managed forest*, The fencing used at the back of the garden is made from coppiced hazel, a renewable resource grown in the UK. *PEFC certification


The plants in the “Papillon Pavilion” garden are drawn from the following list:


Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’*

Lavandula stoechas ‘Papillon’*



Achillea millefolium 'Inca Gold'*

Alchemilla mollis

Astrantia major*

Cynara cardunculus*

Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue'*

Eryngium bourgatii ‘Picos Blue’*

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies'

Geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’

Liatris spicta 'Floristan Violett'*

Monarda 'Beauty of Cobham'*

Nepeta x faassenii*

Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise'*

Salvia x sylvestris 'Mainacht'*

Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Chile Black'*

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'*

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’

Verbena bonariensis*



Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'

Deschampsia cespitosa 'Bronzeschleier'



Actinidia chinensis ‘Solo’



Crataegus laevigata ‘Rosea Flore Pleno’*

Morus alba ‘Pendula’



Achillea millefolium* (Yarrow)

Centaurea nigra* (Lesser Knapweed)

Gallium verum* (Lady’s Bedstraw)

Geranium pratense (Field Geranium)

Hypericum perforatum* (Perforate St John’s Wort)

Hypochaeris radicata (Cat’s Ear)

Leucanthemum vulgare* (Oxeye Daisy)

Lotus corniculatus* (Bird’s-foot trefoil)

Lychnis flos-cuculi* (Ragged Robin)

Malva moschata (Musk Mallow)

Plantago lanceolata (Ribwort Plantain)

Primula veris* (Cowslip)

Prunella vulgaris (Selfheal)

Ranunculus acris* (Meadow Buttercup)

Rhinanthus minor (Yellow Rattle)

Sanguisorba minor (Salad Burnet)

Silene dioica (Red Campion)

Stachys officinalis* (Betony)

Vicia cracca* (Tufted Vetch)

Vicia sativa ssp Nigra* (Common Vetch)


Meadow grasses

Alopecurus pratensis (Meadow foxtail)

Dactylis glomerata (Cocksfoot)

Fescue ovina (Sheep’s Fescue)

Fescue rubra (Red Fescue)


Plants marked with * are good butterfly nectar plants