Make Your Garden a Wildlife Haven

With so much land and wilderness being taken away from our wildlife and used for building, it’s time to use our gardens to give back to nature; this is especially important in an urban society where wildlife would otherwise struggle to survive. There is a range of flowers and plants you can grow, food you can provide, and changes you can make to your garden to attract nature’s most beautiful creatures. Without nature, we wouldn’t be able to survive, so it’s time for us to repay the favour and offer nature a helping hand.

Butterfly on Lavender

Insects

While most insects are pests and can be menaces to gardens, there are a few that we would love to make an appearance, especially with many species sadly getting closer to extinction. These include bees, butterflies, and many other colourful and wonderful beasties that pollinate our flowers and add a sense of liveliness to our outdoor space. Their harmless nature and natural beauty can make any garden feel magical, especially during the height of summer when these fantastic eco-operators gather in large numbers and buzz from flower to flower. Creating an array of attractive floral features in your garden for these pollinators doesn’t need to depend on the size of your space. There are various space saving planters and stands you can use to display your plants, even with limited patio or deck space. Sunflowers are a favourite among most wildlife; with their bright petals and large central disks which are brimming with pollen, they’re also relatively easy to grow and look amazing in any garden. Other plants that you should work into your arrangement thanks to their well-known attractiveness to floral fertilisers are cosmos, roses, and lavender, although all flowers rich in nectar and pollen will be on their menu.

Bee on Sunflower

Birds

Beautiful and majestic, birds are amazing to watch. With the right additions to your garden, you can create a social and even domestic area for many bird species. The easiest way to do this is by following the above tips to introduce plants and flowers to your garden. This will, in turn, bring more insects into your garden which the birds will feed on. You can also add various different berry-bearing plants and shrubs that provide food for thrushes, finches, blackbird, robins, and many other species to encourage them to visit. Bushes, hedgerows, and shrubs provide shelter and safety as well as nutrition, encouraging other small mammals like hedgehogs to move in alongside your new flappy fellows. If you’d like to have some avian residents then you could include a bird box, bird bath, and hanging seed dispensers; they’ll never want to leave!

Birds on fence

Ponds

A pond can transform any garden, providing a relaxing and attractive water feature for everyone to enjoy as well as a productive area for wildlife. A pond attracts every bit of nature thanks to the life-giving effects of water. It provides a breeding ground for aquatic animals such as frogs and newts and encourages growth of vegetation which provides food for insects.

Frog on log in a pond

Wood, Stone & Compost Piles

Natural wood with bark, stone, and compost piles, although not the most attractive, are great habitats and feeding grounds for all kinds of animals; the bigger the wood and stones, the better. Slow worms, grass snakes, and snails are among some of the creatures you can find lurking in these piles; they love the humidity within these environments as well as the protection offered from predators. You can make the pile tidy by creating a dedicated section for the wood, stones or compost to go in. Ideal places for this include within shrubbery or in a corner of the garden which can be sectioned off with a short wooden fence (but not completely sealed off to allow easy access for the new residents). You could also use a large bucket or plant pot to put in large stones, some soil and wood chips. You’d need to drill plenty of 30mm holes in the sides that are spaced 50mm apart to ensure that the inside is accessible, as well as put drainage holes in the bottom so that water doesn’t flood inside the container. Depending on your choice of container, you could use it as an ornamental feature or bury it in the ground so that it’s hidden from view.

Log Pile

In a time when nature is at its most endangered, we should all work together and do what we can to help bring it back into a state where it can flourish. With these tips – some cheap and simple, others a little more labour and cost intensive – you can help nature, all while making your garden a more enjoyable place to be.

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