Thursday, 31 May 2018

Encourage wildlife into your garden with these tips*

Many people think of insects and bugs as pests but this could not be any further from the truth. These tiny creatures protect the garden from harmful nuisances that cause harm to your garden, so it is wise to encourage them into your space. Not only will a lively garden provide plenty of entertainment, but wildlife will also repay your kindness by keeping your garden beautiful and free of harm.
Photo by George Berberich on Unsplash, this is a collaborative post*

These five simple steps will help to encourage cute critters and soulful songbirds into your garden.

1. Choose your plants with wildlife in mind The plants that you bring into your garden will have a significant effect on how much wildlife you attract, so it is best to plan ahead when creating or renovating an outdoor space. Flowers that smell sweet, like roses and honeysuckle, will encourage creatures to come and investigate the appealing scent. Native hedgerows will appeal to local wildlife, so do some research before you plant your parameter borders. If you have space, an oak tree not only looks beautiful but offers a safe haven for large and small animals and creatures.

2. Thicken hedges and lengthen grass Providing a cover is the most straightforward and most effective method for attracting mini beasts; they will really appreciate having somewhere to shelter from the elements and any would-be predators, as well as having somewhere safe to sleep. By allowing your grass to grow just that little bit longer, and adding density to your hedges, you will be proving much-needed cover for small creatures. Thick hedges also provide shelter and a safe place to nest for birds, encouraging them to make your garden their home. Whenever you are trimming your foliage or cutting your lawn, take care and try not to disturb nesting wildlife as much as possible. Once you have created a safe haven, it is essential that they remain precisely that.

3) Bring in bird feeders There is nothing more lovely than enjoying a coffee outside in the mornings to the tune of birds going about their business, and the best way to encourage them into your garden is with a bird feeder. If you only have a small garden, or you live in a flat or apartment, you can buy ones that stick to your windows, but if you have the space, a free-standing one not only looks great but can give them a place to eat, drink and bathe, which is essential in the warmer months. Keep it topped up with bird feed from a supplier such as Little Peckers. Make sure you position your fress standing feeders out of harm's way – keep them at least two metres away from cover and be sure that pets or children can't reach. Once birds start to feed in your garden, keep up your routine as they will become used to it and will time their visits accordingly. Any plant that grows berries will provide an additional natural source of food for your feathered friends.

Small creatures tend to prefer plants that grow in the sun rather than the shade, and anything that grows at the edge of shrubbery or borders is always popular, so bear this in mind when adding to your garden. Insects and bees love flowers and the nectar within, so aim to provide a good variety all year round. Check for the pollinator logo on plant packets to get further guidance on what to buy or talk to the staff at your local garden centre.

4) Add a bird box Another way of encouraging birds into your garden is by adding a bird box. A bird box is a great way to attract birds to your garden at any time of the year. By adding these small structures to your garden, you are creating safe spaces for them to shelter from the elements and to raise their young in the breeding season. In return, you will benefit from having constant companions throughout the year, and you can even fit a camera inside your box for the ultimate bird watching experience. When installing your bird box (or multiple bird boxes, if you are hoping to attract more than one species), position it in a quiet area at least 1.5 meters above the ground, to ensure that occupants are safe and undisturbed. Be sure to keep the bird box hospitable by cleaning it out, but never disturb it when it is occupied.

Useful insects, beetles and centipedes appreciate hiding places such as dense foliage and grass piles, which is a great excuse to put off tidying your 'garden litter'. Delay cutting back your perennials in autumn, and during winter when plants are sparser, arrange piles of logs, stones or bark around your garden to create perfect spaces for hibernation - a 'bug hotel', if you will.

5) Install a water feature A pond attracts larger garden wildlife such as frogs and toads, and if you can encourage them into your garden, they will repay you by eliminating slugs and snails; both of which love to feast on your plants. If you do not have enough space for a pond or have small children (it can be a hazard!), consider adding something smaller like a birdbath or water feature. Both of these options will entice beautiful birds and butterflies, as well as critters that love to feed on various types of insects. Not only will your garden be protected, but you will also have lots of colourful creatures to enjoy. The sound of trickling water can be incredibly relaxing for you as well!

The kinds of wildlife that you will attract will differ depending on where you live and the space that you have available. Talk to your local garden centre or wildlife sanctuary to get advice on how to create a garden that creatures will love as much as you do.


  1. I wish I had a garden of my own! If I did, I would definitely leave out some food for birds. I'm not a fan of insects though, so I'll stick to birds. Oh, and squirrels :D

    Julia x
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  2. Last year we had a wood pigeon nest in the back garden and this year we have a robin's nest in the front!

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