How to Create a wildlife friendly garden
Since we have all been staying indoors, you might have seen more wildlife about than usual. Can you hear the birds tweeting outside your window or have you spotted hedgehogs roaming around your streets? Let's get even closer to nature reserves by turning your green spaces into a wildlife friendly garden. We have nine top tips below that you can do in your wildlife garden to help insects, garden birds & other animals.
Leave your mower in the shed
Leave the weekly grass cutting schedule alone and important part: let your grass grow. Letting your lawn grow will make space for a wide range of plants and insects, including butterflies & wildflowers. If you stop mowing your lawn you can create a busy wildlife habitat.
You will give plants and wildflowers a chance to grow and bloom and the longer stems will create a safe haven for wildlife. Create a mini wildlife jungle in your back garden where small creatures can wander, and birds will come to feed on the seeds. Help give nature a home!
Feed your bird friends
Attracting wild birds to your garden is both hugely enjoyable and very rewarding, plus it also helps wildlife conservation and specifically helps reverse the trend of declining populations of many of our once common birds. In fact, the UK’s gardens are now considered a vital part in a much wider conservation effort. Creating bird boxes and putting out food will help birds thrive. Put your bird box up high in a sheltered area to protect from your pets!
Grow climber plants
A bare fence really isn't helpful for wildlife, birds can't nest in it, butterflies can't hibernate in it and bees can't use it for shelter. Cover your fences in climbers and it's a different story, even one climber can support a wide range of wildlife.
Passion flowers are exotic-looking flowers that supply great shelter for insects and birds. We also love clematis because not only do they look beautiful, but they supply shelter for a variety of birds and other species, supplies nectar and pollen for bees and birds use the seed head material for their nests in Spring. Planting for wildlife can turn out to be such an achievement!
Build a bug hotel
Build the perfect bug hotel and it will shelter anything from hedgehogs to toads, bees, ladybirds and woodlice. You can build your home for wildlife in any season, but you will find most natural materials such as straw, leaves, dry grass, twigs, rocks and dead wood in Autumn. Safe hideaways can be hard for wildlife to find in some gardens, and what better use for all your garden waste and odds and ends?
Help Slow Worms
Are gardens are a safe habitat for these shy and reserved creatures. Leaving piles of sticks, prunings and logs undisturbed in a quiet corner corner of your garden. These will gradually rot down and be a hot bed of garden beds and beasties for the slow worms to feed upon.
Create a small garden pond
A pond is a beautiful feature in any back garden but more importantly is a real boost for wildlife. During the past century, nearly 70% of ponds have been lost from the UK countryside, meaning there is an increasing importance of garden ponds & water features for wildlife.
Ponds are best filled with unchlorinated rainwater from a water butt and waterlilies will help prevent it from becoming stagnant. The best thing is that you don't need to add your own wildlife to your pond, all you need to do is create your pond and the wildlife will come! Pondlife such as pond skaters and diving beetles can arrive within a few days or weeks, and damselflies and amphibians could be on the scene within the first year.
There a many benefit of composting your garden and kitchen waste, it will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, save you money, naturally enrich your soil and also will supply a habitat for worms, woodlice and many other insects. These insects who live among the waste help the decaying process and in turn are a delicious food source for hedgehogs and other animals.
All you need for a successful compost heap is waste, air and water! Using your own compost will increase the organic content in your soil, boost fertility and help plants to build a resistance to disease and insect attacks. Using your own compost will also improve the health of your soil, increasing its water retention and nutrient content. Healthy soil feeds the micro-organisms, as well as keeping the worms happy!
Leave a gap in your fence
Don’t lock out hedgehogs and frogs from your garden. Having gaps at the bottom of your garden fence allows wildlife to move through from garden-to-garden. Many of our garden creatures need to move about freely between gardens.
You can help by creating safe corridors from your garden to the one next door. You can create highways and byways whenever you like, but it is usually easiest in winter when there are fewer leaves on the trees and shrubs.
Grow flowers & Garden Plants
Flowers & nectar rich plant species are very important to wildlife. They supply nectar, which is food for many insects such as butterflies and bees; leaves, for caterpillars and beetles to hide in and eat; hollow stems for insects to hibernate in; night scent, which attracts moths (which attract bats); and seeds, a source of food for birds throughout the winter. Flowers supply food for many insects, attract bees, look beautiful and bring colour and scent into your garden.
Take a break from weed killing
Native wildflowers like buttercups, clover, dandelions and daisies are fantastic for pollinators and can appear quite quickly if you don't mow your lawn. Plants such as nettles, daisies and buttercups are important sources of food for many insects, including butterflies and moths. Long grass is an excellent habitat for nesting bumblebees and believe it or not some weeds are actually quite nutritious for us humans too! So put the weed killer down and relax about those weeds!
Simple steps like these will help nature and wildlife to thrive in your outdoor spaces. Grab your plants online now to start creating your certified wildlife friendly enterprise.