'The Tiger who came to Tea', by Judith Kerr, was one of the favourite bedtime stories when my children were young. The home is not the place you'd expect to see a tiger, but how about the playground in your local park!
Well if you keep your eyes peeled, you might be lucky enough to see a tiger in the playground of Greenwich Park. There are a lot of them about this year. There's no need to worry though, like the one in the book, these tigers are very well behaved. They are after all, 'Jersey Tigers', a rare and beautiful moth.
When you have spotted your first Jersey Tiger, you are unlikely to mistake it for anything else. This large triangle shaped moth is black with yellow stripes on the forewings, just like its namesake. The hind-wings, which appear with a flash when the moth takes flight, are bright red.
Until recently you would have to travel to the south coast to see these moths, but in the last ten years they have started to appear in London. Some may breed here but their numbers are swelled by migrants from the continent in warm summers.
Another moth which makes the channel crossing to our shores each summer is the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. 2013 looks to be a bumper year for this exotic looking moth. They have a short stubby brown body and are often seen flying during the daytime. Hovering in front of a flower the moth uncurls its elongated tongue and probes for nectar, just like a hummingbird. I saw one last month in the Flower Garden near the Jungle Border.
The accent on this border of summer bedding is bright colours, with a tropical feel provided by luxuriant foliage plants like; bananas, cannas and castor oil plants. It's the perfect spot in Greenwich Park to hunt for Hummingbirds and Tigers.