A good habitat for wildlife can easily be created in your garden; in fact, gardens are just as important as the countryside to offer them refuge and food. Many of these species of mammals, birds, and insects are declining in the UK, and providing a safe haven will help them thrive.
In addition to eating a wide variety of pests and pollinating your flowers, the wildlife also adds great beauty to your garden. Should you be struggling to attract these beneficial insects and other animals to your garden, make sure to add a few simple things to your shopping list in addition to your gardening equipment.
Grow Wildflowers for Pollinators
Nectar-rich flowers such as buddleia, lavender, and echinacea, amongst others, are very fragrant and will attract a wide range of pollinators. Plant a wide variety of wildflower seeds to add pops of colours in your garden as well as food for insects. Make sure to plant flowers for all seasons so that pollinators can have access to food even in winter.
Choose plants that haven’t been bred for their petals or special shape, as these can be difficult to access by bees and other pollinators. You can choose from marigolds, cornflowers, nasturtiums, and asters for pollinator-friendly flower options.
Add Some Bat Boxes
The common pipistrelle is one of the most common bats in the UK and the smallest bat you can find in Europe. Weighing approximately the same as a 20p coin and measuring 45mm, these bats feed on mosquitoes and other small insects.
Bat boxes are great ways to help bats thrive; the Bat Conservation trust has approved some of the best bat boxes, such as the conservation bat box, that keeps them safe from predators. Bats don’t like places with draughts, so make sure to provide an environment that is well-insulated with balanced humidity and temperature.
Have Bird Feeders and Houses
Great for extra nourishment in the colder months and easy-to-spot food sources in the summer, bird feeders ensure that birds have enough nutrition on a daily basis. Birds are important for the ecosystem and the environment, as they help by eating some of the pests that may infest your garden.
Fat balls, or other protein-rich feed, are important for birds in the spring when they feed their young. You can use bird feeder cups to place different kinds of feed, such as sunflower hearts, peanuts, mealworms, or wild bird mix. You can also place an apple bird feeder to serve as both a decoration and a feeding stop. Place the feeder near a dense bush plant, like a rambling rose or a hydrangea, so that small birds like blue tits can safely hide if needed.
Place a modern bird box in a sheltered area, out of predator reach and add a bird table to your garden so birds have a good feeding perch that is away from predators. Both should be cleaned regularly to remove any mites or dirt.
Warning: Remember not to feed birds bread, as it has no nutrients even though it can be filling.
Help the Hedgehogs in Your Garden
Known as a “gardener’s friend”, hedgehogs eat a wide variety of pests can plague your garden. They are vital for any garden’s ecosystem and you’ll notice a positive difference when installing a Hogilo hedgehog house, for example. These keep them safe from predators and your pets and provide them with a resting area for the colder months. Don’t forget to leave small openings in your fences so they can get in and out of your garden.
Eating snails, earthworms, beetles, and slugs, hedgehogs are very active at night after rainfalls. Add some hedgehog food in your garden to make sure they have enough food in autumn, when they eat as much as possible for winter hibernation. During these months, their heartbeat can fall from 190 to 20 beats per minutes and their body temperature decrease, so it’s essential to have safe spots for them to rest in.
Provide a Water Spot
If you want to really give your garden a boost of wildlife, adding a pond will do the trick. Make sure to provide stones and branches so wildlife can get a drink and safely get out of bigger ponds. Waterlilies will help to prevent your pond’s water from becoming stagnant and attracting pests.
Use unchlorinated rainwater to fill up your pond from a water butt if you have a small pond - this water is the best choice for a green water source. You can create a small pond from a buried bucket or create a bigger pond; just make sure to always provide the wildlife with easy ways in and out of the water.
We have a wide variety of supplies for your garden or greenhouse to make sure your plants grow healthily and happily. Get in touch with our friendly team to know more about our gardening gifts - we’re always happy to help!