Attract Wildlife to Your Garden
Your garden can play a vital role in helping wildlife thrive, whether its providing food through planting or creating a safe haven for them. Everything that you do in your garden can have a big impact on nature and the local wildlife.
Here at Thompson’s we’ve put together some great tips on how you can help to attract bees, butterflies, birds and those all important bugs to your garden. Your garden can really make a difference, and here’s how!
Bees are so important to our eco-system. Wild plants and food crops depend on bees to pollinate them, but their numbers are in decline. As gardeners we can all do our part to help them, and what better place to start than your garden.
By planting the right plants, you can help to attract bees to your garden and help boost their numbers again. Have you ever thought of planting a dedicated area of nectar-rich, bee friendly flowers? Bees love plants such as Digitalis (Foxglove) and Penstemon, their bell shaped flowers provide a safe haven for the them as they crawl up inside and gather the nectar. Lavender not only provide your garden with a sweet scent, but the bees can’t get enough of them. Buddleja have large arching stems with lots of tiny clusters of flowers on them that you’ll see the bees hovering around. The purple coloured ones are their favourite!
There’s nothing better than relaxing in your garden and spotting a butterfly perching on a flower, or having it flutter by in the warm summer breeze, but their population is also dwindling.
Butterflies also feed on nectar, so many of the plants that are great for bees, will also be great for butterflies. They’re attracted to colourful flowers like Lavender, Primrose of Buddleja and a good variety of wild flowers too. Consider growing mixed grasses and wild flowers as a natural meadow for them, leaving uncut during the growing season will provide a natural source of food for butterflies as well as providing a safe haven.
Providing a natural food source for birds, particularly in the colder Winter months, is extremely important. This can be achieved through planting. Plants with berries are popular such as Cotoneaster or Holly (Ilex) as they produce a food source by Autumn. Rowan trees bare fruit from late July to November and Honeysuckle are ideal for attracting other small insects that birds can feed on.
It’s not just the plants that can help birds, we can of course use bird tables and feeders. Its really important to remember that when you put out food for the birds, you do it regularly. Birds will remember where they source their food from and will come back again and again, so make sure you keep your feeders topped up with tasty treats for them, especially through the cold Winter months.
There are a whole host of tiny insects that make up the eco-system of your garden, and they’re vital for attracting other wildlife to your garden. By growing insect friendly plants, creating a log pile, or having a small pond, it will go a long way to ensure nature thrives in your garden.
If you’ve got a hidden corner of your garden, it doesn’t have to be a big space, let it grow wild! It could be grass, a pile of logs or leaves. Insects will thrive in this area! A compost heap would be ideal as not only will it be a sustainable way to recycle waste from your house and garden, but it will have a number of positive benefits like attracting worms, slugs and insects that will take shelter there. The birds will also love the extra source of food.
Top Tips for Attracting Wildlife
- Plant nectar rich flowers
- Let an area of your garden grow wild
- Insects attract other wildlife
- Create a bug hotel