Here are some of my top tips to encourage more wildlife into your garden, whilst also creating a beautiful space:
1) Add flowers: this is a great way to encourage more pollinators into your garden. Try sowing a mix of flowers to ensure there is something for them all year round. I recommend planting bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and crocuses for Spring. You could plant these into borders, pots or leave to naturalise in lawns. Foxgloves and roses can be brilliant for early summer nectar, ensure you choose open petalled flowers that the pollinators can easily access. Cosmos, Nicotiana (great for shady areas) and Verbena Bonarensis are all easy flowers to grow from seed for Summer colour. I’d also consider sowing wildflower seeds- you can even sow them into a pot if you’re tight on space! This will not only support pollinators, but will also support small mammals and birds who can feed on the insects.
2) Hedgehogs- we all love doing our bit for hedgehogs. Ensure you have undisturbed places for them to hibernate. I have a huge oak tree behind my garden so I always collect the leaves and leave them in a quiet corner of the garden. You can also add a hedgehog house if you’re tight on space!
3) Create a wildlife pond, and despite what people think, it doesn’t have to be huge! Even a small area for wildlife to drink from can transform your space. Add a beautiful feature bird bath, or submerge a small water tight pot into the ground- but do make sure any wildlife can get in and out of it safely. If you have a larger space, creating a pond can encourage frogs which will in turn eat slugs that might be thinking of munching on your plants.
4) Consider adding a ‘bee brick’ to any outside buildings, or create your own bug hotel. This is a particularly fun activity for children. Collect as many different textures of natural material and add them together to create an area for insects to be protected. Dead wood, hollow stems, moss, dry leaves, sticks and even cardboard can all be great additions to get you started.
5) Think about adding a bird house and where in the garden it should be situated. If you have a new build with fences (like I did) then plant trees and shrubs in areas where the bird boxes are so there is cover and privacy for them throughout the seasons. I’d highly recommend Alamanchier trees for small gardens, Honeysuckle climbers to cover fences and shrubs such as Hydrangeas, Philadelphus and Weigelia are all great for adding structure and cover for birds whilst searching for insects.