Nowadays, gardens have become the focal point of nature in societies that are brimming with concrete marvels. But beyond the normative concept of a well-groomed garden, with freshly mowed lawns and perfectly organised flowerpots, people are warming up to the idea of a garden consumed by wildlife.
Have you ever wanted to attract wildlife in your back yard? If yes, the most obvious way of creating a haven for wildlife is the most simple; you do nothing. With no meddling, the insect friendly weeds and grass will grow, allowing a healthy sustaining ecosystem to develop in your garden. But, of course, there are more ways to tempt insects, birds, bees and small mammals in your garden. Hence, today we decided to compile a small list with how to create a wildlife haven.
If you wish to attract birds to nest in your back garden then it’s time to set up some bird houses. Not all birds, of course, rear their offspring in nests but the most common types that usually do are chickadees, titmice, bluebirds and wrens. Depending on the type of boxes you will set up, it will attract a wider variety of bird species. For example, sparrows are keen on terrace boxes.
Nonetheless, there are some features that all bird houses should include. They must be insulated with thick walls of untreated wood, make provisions for ventilation and drainage by drilling holes and include a slopping roof for rain protection. Find out what birds are endemic to your area and build boxes according to their taste!
One of the most important pieces of the ecosystem puzzle are bees as they pollinate flowers and fruits. A garden with no bees is a lonely place to be. Old walls and specifically natural occurring holes in bricks or mortar are usually one of their choices for nesting.
So, if you are about to remodel or restructure a garden wall, leave some room for these hard workers. One good tip to remember about bees is that they prefer south facing sunny walls to lay their eggs. Similarly to a wall, a timber post can become a nest for bees and make sure that it faces towards the sun.
Another habitat for wildlife is rotting wood. They attract a more specific type of wildlife that tend to be uncommon in gardens, such as bark beetles and stags. They are also a likable place for a variety of mushrooms.
While any kind of decaying wood will suffice, such as the little cart in the picture, the best choice will be big natural heavy logs. Using logs, you can pile them up to bring a sense of rustic artistic allure in your garden. And if you have ever felt that hedgehogs are cute, then take into account pile of logs can act as their hibernation site.
Water is a very useful element for attracting wildlife and the best way to add a water feature in your garden is by building a pond. One think to consider when making a pond is to incorporate shallow sides allowing easy access to amphibians.
It is best not to include fish in the pond as they will eat anything swimming in the path and interfere as little as you can with the waters plants colonising it. The importance of allowing water plans is to provide protection to the amphibian life.
Amphibians are nature’s pest police and they love to snack on mosquitoes as well as plant eating insects. When having a pond, is best if you kept the algae levels under control by cleaning it regularly, but in doing so avoid using any chemical components as they will be devastating to wildlife.
For more advice, check out: How To Build Your Own Garden Pond.
One of the most regular forms of garden wildlife are birds and are easily seduce as they only need some food. But for birds, in the frosty days of winder, supplementing their diet can be a matter of life and death. Thus, set up bird feeders across you garden.
The food mix can include seeds, fruits, peanuts, sunflower hearts or even some kitchen crumbs. The feathered travellers will be very thankful if you provided them with clean and unfrozen water as well. But make sure to keep the food and water supply as far away from cats or things will get messy!
As we have talked in the first section, bees are vital to your garden ecosystem. While walls can become their nest, you will need to include flowers that can provide them will pollen and nectar. Aside from bees, flowers will also encourage butterflies and other insects that have been assigned fertilisation duties by nature’s headquarters.
As for choosing the right mix of nectar rich and pollen plants, sedum spectabile are a pit stop for bees in the late summer and sometimes in early winter, while crocus and dandelion can provide pollen from spring to autumn. There are online sites you can visit for more information on the plants that can encourage bees and butterflies to become a part of your garden wildlife.
Finally, a great way of attracting wildlife is by leaving a pile of fallen leaves undisturbed, in a damp and shady corner of your garden. Given the fact October is the month most trees get undressed, it will practical if you create during that period a compost heap to collect fallen leaves.
The heap will be an attraction for worms, slugs, beetles and other incest that are food for birds, amphibians and other small mammals. As for the leave pile in the shady corner, frogs and toads as well as hedgehogs will be very pleased to use it, either as shelter or restaurant!
When attracting wildlife in a garden the idea of perfection must be redefined from overly shaped to untamed, dynamic and alive. Only then it will transform into an ecosystem that overflows with life. After all, have you ever seen a forest that is manicured?