You can attract wildlife to your garden because it’s the right thing to do (and it really is, for so many reasons). Or, like me, you can do it because it will bring numerous moments of joy and pleasure to your life.
Here are some ideas from my garden over the last ten years that have really worked for me.
More birds please!
- Fennel (pictured above) grows huge and this Winter I’ve had Blue Tits and Warblers feeding on the seeds. I have no idea what type of Warbler as they all look the same – small and brown. I was excited nonetheless!
- We’ve had Redwings, Fieldfares, Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds feeding on our neighbours Holly, Cotoneaster and Sorbus berries. Without the berries, they wouldn’t be in our garden. I’m now planting some on our side of the fence.
- Feed the birds and put up nest boxes. Every day I watch and smile. Today a Sparrowhawk swooped past the kitchen window. I use a variety of feeders; fat balls, sunflower seeds (these or Nyger seeds are essential for attracting Goldfinches), peanuts and mixed seeds. Make sure there is cover for the birds not far from the feeders, they like to dart into a hedge at any sign of danger.
- Buy a birdbath. Is there anything more wonderful than watching a bird having a dip? A saucer would work just as well and is more suited to an informal garden. Our bird bath is tucked in among the shrubs, it doesn’t have to be a key feature. We also have a barrel pond with pebble beach, which is great for both birds and insects.
Insects need homes too.
- Build log piles or bug hotels – they don’t have to be scruffy if you don’t want them to be. We’ve filled three garden gabions (wire metal squares) with bark, sticks, stones, shells and leaves. They look nice and double up as a home for creepy crawlies.
- Bee Hotels are wonderful for solitary bees. They lay their eggs in them and cover up the hole. We have fun counting how many hotels are occupied. Buy one or make your own.
Nature doesn’t like a tidy garden
- Overly manicured gardens won’t have as much wildlife! Leave piles of logs and leaves, keep some of the grass longer, allow nettles to grow in a more wild area.
- It’s easier to do this in a larger garden, but even in a smaller garden it’s possible. Don’t cut back seed heads and dead perennials for example, leave them for ladybirds to crawl into, and for birds to eat the seeds.