If you’ve passed the Museum recently, you may have seen our band of volunteer gardeners avidly removing the box tree plants outside of Palace House, this is because they have now become the new home to some green, fuzzy critters, also known as Box Tree Caterpillars!

The Box Tree Caterpillar, with their distinctive greenish-yellow body and black heads is native to East Asia, becoming established in Europe in 2007. The caterpillars soon began sprouting up in English gardens in 2011, and by the end of 2014 had become well established in parts of London and surrounding areas. Now growers in the south-east of England regularly come across these problematic caterpillars throughout the growing season. Noticeable damage to box tree plants includes defoliation or webbing throughout the plant which is exactly what we have seen in the Museum grounds.

Once the task of removing the box tree plants is complete, our gallant, hardworking volunteers will be working on ideas as to how they can restore our beautiful parterre garden to its full glory once again. Watch this space!

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