Encouraging the birds and the bees
Every year fruit trees come into blossom and tempt birds, bees and other insects to feed on the pollen generated from this example of nature’s bounty. If you are thinking of introducing fruit blossom to your garden, then you don’t have to stick with apples and plums, you could even try medlars, quince and greengages.
The joy of planting fruit trees is that you will not only encourage wildlife, you’ll also have a wonderful stock of fruit that you can use for jams, jellies and other delights. You can always plant the redundant stones to expand your orchard.
Bug hotels are a good idea
Everyone loves a beautiful luxury hotel – and so do bugs! A bug box is an ideal way of encouraging these precious invertebrates to visit your garden. All you have to do is cut off some pieces of cane and then tie the sticks together to attract any passing bugs. You can either attach your ‘bug hotel’ to a tree or leave the bamboo canes lying on the ground.
If you have space, then a pond is the perfect way for encouraging all different types of wildlife to visit your garden. Frogs adore ponds and so do a wide variety of birds. You may also find that water mint and marsh marigolds love the pond environment too, as well as water boatmen and other insects who flourish in water. Do remember to clean your pond though, as stagnant water smells and won’t encourage any visitors.
Don’t be too tidy
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is a keen advocate of the importance of biodiversity. The society has an outstanding section on its website about how anyone who has access to a garden, or external plant pot can attract wildlife.
Many gardeners feel the need to conscientiously sweep up all of their dead leaves and twigs in a bid to make their garden look tidier. This is a mistake, as many animals and insects love burrowing under these objects in order to create a habitat. Stag beetles and even different varieties of funghi all thrive in a dank and dark environment.
Try and leave a small patch of your garden totally uncultivated or plant some wildflower seed. You’ll be amazed at the diversity of plants that will flourish in this area. You’ll soon be able to spot a variety of butterflies and other insects visiting this part of your garden. You don’t have to live on an ancestral estate to create this type of beauty, just a small strip of land will do and you can rest content that you are contributing to and enriching the UK’s wildlife heritage.