Every gardener loves their flowers and plants with a deep passion, but no garden is really complete without a few winged, scaled and feathered friends. And if you’re a real nature lover, there are a few things that your garden really shouldn’t be without.
Home Sweet home
If you’d like birds to set up home in your garden, why not provide them with one? A birdhouse that’s set up in the spring could be home to a family by the summer, which will not only provide your family with a valuable learning experience of watching chicks grow, but your garden will also benefit from a reduction in pests as the birds do the job of pesticides in a much more eco-friendly way.
But of course, birds aren’t the only wildlife that need a loving home. As our bee population is on the decline, it’s a great idea to do your bit for our environment and install a bee-house, too. Your garden will certainly reap the benefits from cross pollination.
Want to see hedgehogs in your yard? An easy, and free, way to attract insects for them to eat is by laying some logs in a corner and letting leaves gather there. This will also provide a shelter for the hedgehogs, which they badly need during the colder months. Squirrels may also use this shelter to hide acorns.
The life aquatic
Digging a pond is simpler than you might imagine, and if you do it right you’ll need to do very little in terms of maintenance. As well as frogs, you can expect to attract dragonflies and beetles – and with them, you’ll see more birds. Locate your pond in a sunny spot close to hedges or logs, so that baby frogs have somewhere to hide.
Food, glorious food
A comfortable shelter isn’t the only way to attract wildlife. If you provide the right food, you’ll become the best friend of many a critter. Here are a few tips you can try to attract certain animals and birds (depending on where you live of course).
- Fat balls – blue tit and great tit
- Mealworms – house sparrow and shrews
- Sunflower hearts – bullfinch
- Dog food – hedgehog
- Nyger seed – siskin and goldfinch
- Peanuts – great spotted woodpecker and badgers
- Root vegetables – deer
While mammals and birds will be attracted by the foods above, bees and butterflies obviously need flowers in order to survive. Try to plant both early- and late-flowering plants in order to provide food for them for as long as possible. The following varieties are good choices.
- Spring: primrose, damson and blueberry
- Summer: chives, dahlia and hardy geranium
- Autumn: common ivy, sunflower and strawberry tree
- Winter: clematis, crocus and honeysuckle
A bird bath is a great addition to any garden. Not only will it provide a vital source of drinking water for birds during the winter, but it will also help them to cool down during the summer. Birds also need to preen themselves in order to stay healthy, and a bath is really helpful to help keep their feathers in top condition.
Have fun with your very own nature reserve! However, before embarking on transforming your garden to attract animals, consider how suitable it is. Are you located close to a busy road that could be dangerous for animals? Are your neighbors likely to be irritated by them? Think about how you can minimize the danger for your new furry and feathered friends.
About The Author
Hello, my name is Eric, I am a keen gardener, I love spending time outdoors – even at this time of year! I work at the Millrace Garden Center, where we sell lots of things that will get your garden full of wildlife, find out more here, thanks for reading!