You can easily increase how attractive your garden is to wildlife. And by increasing the biodiversity of your garden, you’ll be helping support your local wildlife’s ecosystem. It’s a virtuous circle – once you start attracting wildlife, more and more will arrive. Here are some simple things you can do to bring the bees, befriend the birds and help the hedgehogs.
First tip – if you have kids, get them involved. They’ll keep their interest and help you maintain the spaces that wildlife likes. And you’re passing on a real skill to them.
Build a bug hotel
The easiest way to do this is to simply tie lots of pieces of bamboo cane together. The pieces should be reasonably short and you should use hollow bamboo. You can leave it on the ground, stick it in a crack in a wall or even hang it from a tree. Where you place it will determine the types of bugs that use it. Make a few and try them in different positions in your garden.
Plant a tree
The size of your garden will determine the best type of tree for you. For smaller gardens try silver birch, yew, crab apple or conifers. If you have more room then you could plant an ash, beech or elm tree. Birds and squirrels nest in trees. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, try planting a willow tree and see if any bats take up residence.
Add some more flowers
Not only do these make your garden look prettier, they bring all the bugs to the yard. Try and pick flowers that provide nectar and pollen for as long a season as possible. There’s some great advice on the Royal Horticultural Society website about choosing the right flowers.
Create some decay
If you can, leave a small section of your garden to its own devices. A pile of fallen leaves provides a damp, shaded area for frogs, toads and newts (not to mention the scores of other insects that love these damp, dark places).
Say hello to birds
You can easily hang a bird feeder (or two) in your garden. There are lots of different types on the market – we’d advise picking one that’s designed to be squirrel-proof. No offence to the squirrels, but if they’re eating the food the birds won’t come. There are lots of sites online that show you how to make your own food for birds. Basically melt pure lard, add some sunflower seeds, millet and peanuts, then let it all set in half a coconut shell. Then hang it from a tree.
Build a hedgehog a home
Hedgehogs start looking for a place to hibernate in the autumn. And it’s easy to give them the perfect place. It could be as simple as a pile of logs, stacked in a quiet corner, or you could buy a ready-made one – like this one from John Lewis.
Use natural pest control
If your garden’s teeming with wildlife, the last thing you want to be doing is using pesticides that are harmful. There are lots of great natural options out there. From planting the right plants to attract natural predators, to more extreme measures like using lion poo to discourage neighbourhood cats, you’ll find lots of ideas and advice at the click of a button.
Start a compost heap
You’d be amazed how important a compost pile is for the biodiversity of your garden. Composting speeds up the natural recycling of nutrients, provides healthy soil and offers small creatures and insects somewhere warm to build a home.
There are loads more things you can do to make your garden more attractive to wildlife. From letting your grass grow longer, to installing a water feature, your garden is your oyster, so to speak.
And, as ever, if you need to store anything, we’re here to help. Give us a call or pop in to see how we can help you make more of your space.