Gardens are valuable spaces not only for us but a wealth of wildlife too. It’s estimated that the millions of gardens in Britain cover around 10 million acres – an area bigger than all the country’s nature reserves combined! Viewed from the air you can see how they link together into green corridors, providing wildlife with a range of habitats and the ability to move from one area to another to feed, breed, shelter and hibernate.
Every garden can be enriched to become a home for local birds and wildlife, planting flowering meadows for butterflies and insects, hedges for nesting birds, and blossom and blooms throughout the year to bring in bees, butterflies and insects.
So, this month get customers planting to create a wildlife-friendly garden and reap the benefits of surrounding themselves with nature, with support from the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.
10 THINGS TO DO TO MAKE A WILDLIFE GARDEN
- Grow fruiting and berrying trees and shrubs for birds
- Plant year-round flowers for bees and insects
- Feed the birds all-year-round
- Make a pond, water feature or bird bath
- Plant native hedges around the garden
- Put up bird nesting boxes
- Sow annual flowers, meadows and crops
- Build log piles at the back or borders
- Install bee boxes, insect hotels and hibernation homes
- Plant wildflowers, native plants and meadows
PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: PLANTING WITH NATURE IN MIND
Plants with fruits, berries & seedheads:
- Beauty Berry (Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ AGM)
- Skimmia japonica ‘Nymans’
- Gaultheria (Pernettya)
- Ornamental grasses eg Miscanthus, Pennisetum, Stipa.
- Ornamental garden trees like varieties of rowan, cherry* and crab apple.
Late flowering plants for late flying insects:
- Japanese Anemones
- Ivy (Hedera)
- Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica AGM)
*Prunus (Cherry) are listed by Defra as Xylella Host Plants of concern to the UK. For further information please visit the Plant Health Portal and read the latest High Risk Host list. Suspected cases of Xylella fastidiosa or any other non-native plant pest must be reported to the relevant authority. All Xylella host plants should be sourced responsibly.