Making your garden a haven for birds and insects will not only make it a more interesting place to spend time, but it can lead to healthy and flourishing plants, which benefit from extra pollination. Supporting the UK’s declining insect population is also important to protect biodiversity and maintain a thriving ecosystem.
Choose bee-friendly flowers
Flowers such as lungwort, crocus, snowdrops, and perennial wallflowers, among many others, are rich in nectar and pollen, which bees need for survival. Avoid too many highly cultivated flowers with double petals, as most of these will contain little to no pollen or nectar, the RHS advises.
Add a water feature
If you have a suitable spot that is not in direct sunlight, but not completely overshadowed, then building a pond will attract birds, insects, and aquatic creatures to your garden. Make sure you dig ridges into the pond, to allow wildlife to climb in and out. As far as possible, allow the pond to be colonised naturally.
Have a no-mow patch
There’s no need to let your garden become a completely re-wilded space: after all, we need usable green spaces for our own recreational purposes too. However, even a small patch of unmown grass can provide shelter for a whole range of wildlife, such as caterpillars, shrews, voles, and insects. Scatter wildflower seeds if there’s enough room.
Create a compost heap
Composts provide shelter to small creatures and hibernating insects. It will also provide you with free, nutrient-rich fertiliser to boost your plants and flowers.
Avoid artificial fertilisers and pesticides
Using chemicals on your garden should be a very last resort, as they can be toxic to many helpful plant and insect species. Maintaining your garden regularly, choosing plants which are pest and disease resistant, and introducing natural enemies should be the first course of action.
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