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Make your garden right for wildlife

Birdhouse

A few weeks ago I was spending plenty of time relaxing in my garden; with it being so hot I had my deck chairs and BBQ out and I was making the most of the summer months. While I have done this I have managed to watch and appreciate wildlife.

For a few days I enjoyed cooked breakfasts in the sunlight, admiring the butterflies and the different birds about. I saw everything from the blackbird to the pigeon and it gave me chance to appreciate their beauty.

On the RSPB website you will notice hundreds of people speaking about making their garden wildlife friendly. There are many things you can do from building a bird house to installing a bee hotel and if done right you can make more of an impact on the nation’s wildlife then you probably think.

I studying my friends garden for a couple of days last week and today I am going to talk about reasons why it is good and how I think it could improve; with that in mind you may be able to use some of the things I speak about in your garden.

  1. My friends garden is designed in a 1960’s style; it has a rough lawn surrounded by thin borders all the way around. The shrubs all around are overgrown and out of shape and look as though they haven’t been trimmed in over a year… Although this isn’t a technique I would use it my garden it does highlight the need for shelter. The shrubs and bushes are growing so well that it provides plenty of space for birds to hide from predators. Birds such as house sparrows, robins and blackbirds all appear randomly and disappear at the flash of an eye.
  2. Non-native and native plants are a nice little feature in my friend’s garden… Natives such as hawthorn and field rose provide source of food for insects like the caterpillar. However the non-natives do a good job too as they extend the flower season for bees and other pollinators.
  3. A good compost heap or bin is an essential for me and im friend has built up a compost heap to be proud of. Just by simply using food waste and things like that he has managed to create a compost heap that makes such a difference to the garden.
  4. Although we all love the sun we also need to shade and so do wildlife. My friend has managed to create a garden which offers both… Birds forage for slugs in the damp and shade while butterflies will relish being in the sunlight.

Basically this garden is the perfect base for wildlife… You may be thinking how can it possibly be improved? Well today I will give you some things that I would change. First and foremost I would add a bird bath to the garden. Water is an essential to any living thing and I think the wildlife would appreciate it, giving birds chance to bathe and drink.

Although the lawn looks great cut really short the wildlife will never really benefit from this; instead I would love to see my friend allowing it to grow and letting flowers naturally be born such as clover.

See Also
Butterflies
Inviting Birds and Butterflies into Your Garden
Planting
Tips for making your garden more eco-friendly