For your garden to progress, you need wildlife in your garden as well as plants. Insects, birds, and garden mammals all play an important role in your garden’s ecosystem.
24 species live wild in the UK they are easily recognized by their fluffy bodies. Different varieties have different length tongues as they all feed on different flowers. Bumblebees have suffered declines in the UK due to bad weather, insecticides, and a reduction in habitat for feeding and nesting. If a flower is not pollinated it will not go to seed, which can impact the life of the species of the plant.
One of Clive’s clients converted 90% of their garden into a meadow garden to encourage wildlife into the garden. Image below.
There are only 1 species of honeybee in Europe and these live-in hives. Honeybees are smaller and look more like a wasp. They also have short tongues for open flowers.
If all garden owners bought more bee-friendly flowers and plants, there would be more food and habitat for the bees. If you make bee boxes for Mason Bees fix them to a south-facing area. If planting flowers for bees, plant pollen-rich varieties. Pollen rich varieties fall into the following categories:
- Annuals – e.g., cornflowers, aster, poppies
- Biennials – e.g., Hollyhocks, wallflowers
- Herbaceous – e.g., Scabious, Verbena
- Bulbs – Autumn crocus, Hyacinth, Daffodils
- Vegetables & Culinary Herbs – Courgettes, Rosemary
- Trees & Shrubs – Forsythia, Lilac
- Climbers – Clematis, wisteria
Birds are always welcome in the garden they are interesting to watch foraging and nesting. Birdbox number two on Clive’s workshop in his back garden.
They also eat pests like, greenfly, caterpillars, and slugs as well as a lot of other grubs keeping the pest population under control. In spring and summer to encourage birds into your garden put out good quality bird mix, uncooked porridge oats, cooked rice, and chopped up fruit. Once the birds see your garden as a food source they will then forage for those pests, slugs, and snails, black fly and beetles, etc.
In autumn and winter put out food with high-fat content, fat balls, grated cheese, etc. Birdbaths are a great feature as well as good for birds to drink water and bath. Birds also need habitat for nesting, shrubs, and trees are great for this as is hedging. Hedging is so much more eco-friendly than a wooden fence. It is a great habitat for birds, small mammals, and insects.
Nest boxes can be easily made, or you can source them online for as cheap as 4 for £10.00!!
You may not get any birds in them in the first year, but once their location has been spotted, they will be full in the second year. Make sure they are about 2m off the ground, they should face northeast or southeast.
Butterflies & Moths
The image shows a butterfly on a Buddleja also known as the Butterfly Bush.
Butterflies are a lovely sight in the garden, and they are a sign of a healthy garden and ecosystem in the garden. Not only are they beautiful butterflies and caterpillars are part of the garden food chain for birds, bats, and insect-eating amphibians, and small mammals.
Below is the Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar on one visit to a garden Clive maintains he saw a few of these caterpillars they are about 60mm long with a small horn on the front. The moth turns into is pink and olive green.
There are a few varieties of butterflies becoming threatened again due to loss of habitat for feeding and nesting. You can do your bit by planting nectar-rich flowers in your garden.
Some examples of what Butterfly and moth friendly plants are:
- Annuals – e.g., verbena
- Biennials – e.g., wallflowers
- Herbaceous – e.g., lavender
- Vegetables & Culinary Herbs – Thyme, Oregano
- Trees & Shrubs – Buddleja, Rhododendron
- Climbers –Honeysuckle, Roses
Don’t use pesticides and insecticides in your garden because as well as killing the pests they will kill butterflies and other insects as well. To discuss sourcing and planting wildlife-friendly plants in your garden.
Call Clive on 07889 599944 Or email Clive on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 2 of Wildlife in the Garden will be distributed in mid-February.
The Banner Image Is an image Clive took at Chelsea Flower Show 2019, the show gardens are built in 7 – 14 days normally by a team of landscapers. This garden called the Yorkshire Garden was a gold medal winner, plus it got the best of show.
Designed by Mark Gregory. Built by Landform Consultants Ltd. Sponsored by – Welcome to Yorkshire.