By Sue Butterworth
We are all encouraged to do our little bit for the environment and help wildlife to flourish, and handing a small area of your garden back to nature is a great way to start. Creating a wildlife garden is something the whole family can get involved with, and as well as being enjoyable and immensely rewarding, it’s probably easier than you think.
You may well have heard the term ‘rewilding’. All this really means is sitting back and letting nature reclaim a space. By being a little less tidy in the garden, you can create important habitats and entice a host of birds, bees, butterflies and other creatures into your garden.
Putting up some nest boxes, creating a log pile, letting your grass grow long or planting a hedge, are all little things you can do to help things along.
Introducing a few beneficial plants into your garden such as dianthus, hebes, buddleia, scabious, verbena, eryngium and foxgloves, or planting your very own wildflower meadow are also great ways to encourage wildlife into your garden.
One of the very best ways to attract new wildlife to your garden is to introduce a source of water. A wildlife pond can be any shape or size, and once created you will be amazed how quickly different species make their homes there.
When planning your pond, it is important to consider the needs of the wildlife you are trying to attract. Providing a gentle slope with shallow water around the edge will allow all creatures safe access. You will find bees, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects will drink from your pond and birds will bathe in the shallow water.
An untouched secluded area is the ideal location for hedgehogs to take up residence. A space in a pile of logs covered with long grass and twigs or leaves makes a good place for them to hibernate and this will encourage other insects, too.
If you would like to find out more about these garden visitors, Paula’s Wildlife Rescue and Prickly Prickles Hedgehog Rescue will be at Goulds Garden Centre on Saturday, March 25, from 10am to 4pm.
If you have any specific questions, pop in to Goulds Garden Centre where our friendly team can help. Happy wildlife gardening!
Plant manager Sue Butterworth is in her 24th year at Goulds Garden Centre.