How to create a wildlife-friendly garden

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

We all understand the importance of protecting our wildlife. Many of us can easily do our part, by ensuring our gardens are wildlife friendly places. Of course, attracting the wildlife into your garden not only helps the wildlife populations, it also helps keep garden pests under control too. So, if you’re looking to create a wildlife friendly garden, here’s some simple steps you can take.

Invest in some climbers

Ivy in particular, is great for the wildlife. Not only does it provide year-round foliage, it also produces flowers and seeds – giving wildlife and insects nutrients and pollen. Other climbers include roses, clematis and jasmine – all of which attract bees, butterflies and moths into the garden.

Dig a pond

Lots of people think a pond is high maintenance, but it doesn’t have to be a maintenance nightmare. A simple pond can be made from a bucket or trough buried in a quiet spot in the garden. If you’re worried about it stagnating, avoid creating it in the full sun or full shade. Regardless of how big or little your pond, ensure you use overhanging plants, stones and branches to make it easy for wildlife to enter and leave.

Bird Feeder

Feed the birds

Creating a bird feeding station is one of the most popular ways of attracting birds into your garden. You can easily hang fat balls and seed feeders on hooks or place them on a bird feeding table.

Give them somewhere to stay

Whilst we’re focusing on the birds, give them a safe space to stay. Erect bird houses at various spots around your garden, but make sure they have adequate protection from the local cats!

Create stacks of wood, leaves and rocks

Natural materials such as wood and leaves provide some great sheltering opportunities for insects and wildlife. Over time, these natural piles will decompose, bringing additional nutrients to your garden. Rocks of varying sizes also provide great shelter, with the added benefit of being permanent!

Build a compost pile

Composting provides so many benefits to your garden and the wildlife. Not only does it help you benefit from your garden waste, it also provides a perfect sheltered and warm hideaway for frogs, slow worms and other insects. You can also compost your kitchen waste too – such as tea bags, egg shells and vegetable peelings.

Embrace the weeds and wildflowers

They provide a natural source of food for insects, moths and butterflies, as they flower for such a long time.

Plant lots of flowers and herbs!

It goes without saying, if you want to create a wildlife friendly garden, you can’t go wrong with flowers and herbs. They’ll attract in the wildlife and insects, whilst also providing you with a wide variety of fresh flowers and herbs for you to use in the home and kitchen.

Stick to natural solutions

There are lots of natural solutions to most garden issues, regardless of whether you’re looking to deter the slugs or clean your paving stones. Before you reach for strong, chemical-filled sprays and pellets, see if there’s a greener natural option available.

Don’t totally isolate your garden

It’s understandable that most gardens will want fences or walls around them, but make sure you leave some wiggle room for hedgehogs and frogs to get through.

By following the tips above, you’ll ensure your garden is a wildlife friendly place – something both you and the wildlife will benefit from!

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