Louse Vegas!

This weekend, I discovered these delightful bug-hotels just outside a multistorey car on Thomas Street (Northern Quarter, Manchester city centre). I love the Northern Quarter, it’s chockful of cute little bars, independent shops and nice eateries, and great things like Bugtannia and Premier Bug, I’m thinking it could offer a source of ongoing inspiration.
As described by the plaque they’ve been designed by school children from Abbott Community Primary. I think they’re really cute, inventive and most importantly useful for insects at this time of year. They also catch people’s interest and show us all something new too!
I’m thinking of trying to create low key versions for our yard. There would be no need for me to put it all in such a lovely unit as these guys have in Manchester, piles of bamboo, twigs and even rolled up newspapers could be left in the messy corner of a garden or easily hidden behind or under something else. Maybe I could attract some of these little guys to come and stay in my yard, I’d appreciate one or two to eat all the aphids I had this summer.
I found this and a lot of other ladybirds wandering around or sleeping on the wooden parts of this fence near my house. Outside a house which, coincidentally (or not?) grew a wildflower meadow in their garden this year – kindred spirits perhaps? Although, I’m not sure if this is a Harlequin ladybird and I’d rather attract the native ladybird species… but anyhoo!
Goals for my days-off-work this week are to make my own bug motel, and to plant some winter bulbs. I hope I can achieve it this week, could show you some evidence of me doing something practical then – that would make me very happy.
How about you? Know of any other bug hotels I should “visit”? Do you enjoy gardening for bugs? Or have you got any tips for providing habitat and hiding places for insects, birds and small mammals? Let me know in the comments.

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