Summer may be drawing to a close, but there’s still time for you to get out in your garden and make the most of the remaining warm weather. If you’re keen to start a project, you could use the coming weeks to create a wildlife garden.
Making a few simple changes to your outdoor area could completely transform its look and feel. Come next summer, you’ll be able to sit back outdoors on your garden furniture and admire an array of plants and animals.
Instinctively, you may shudder at the thought of lots of creepy crawlies in your outdoor area, but no wildlife garden is complete without plenty of pollinating insects. You should bear this in mind when you’re choosing your plants. Try to go for species that allow bees easy access to nectar. You should also focus on ensuring a long blooming season. For instance, hardy plants like anemones and asters will flower in autumn, while snowdrops and crocuses will produce colourful blooms in winter. If you’re not sure which plants to go for, you can take a look at the Plants for Pollinators list produced by the Royal Horticultural Society.
You might also want to invest in an insect hotel. These items are now widely stocked in garden centres and they can provide a home for a range of creatures, including bees, spiders and ladybirds. Rather than buying one of these objects, you may prefer to create your own version using spare bricks, slates, pieces of wood and other materials.
Add a water feature
Water features make a great addition to wildlife gardens. Depending on the size and layout of your outdoor space, this can be anything from a large pond to an improvised puddle of water made using recycled materials, such as upturned bin lids. Soon after creating your water feature, you may start to see anything from dragonflies to frogs. Resist the temptation to add goldfish though because they will eat smaller animals (or other animals may even eat them).
Introduce bird boxes
No garden is complete without the tuneful chirping of birds and to encourage these feathered creatures into your garden, you should add some nesting boxes. Remember that a little patience may be required. It could be a year or more before these items are actually used.
Bird boxes needn’t cost much money and, if you fancy testing your DIY skills, have a go at creating your own. Meanwhile, for advice on the positioning of these objects, you can visit the website or the British Trust for Ornithology.
Creating a wildlife garden is a fun and rewarding task. Follow simple tips like these and you can gradually transform your outdoor area into a haven for local flora and fauna. Then it’s just a question of sitting back and admiring the beauty of nature.