Every domestic garden space has potential to become a resource for the wildlife living in its immediate setting and even those living in its wider landscape. If you want your garden to be more wildlife friendly there are a few simple guidelines to follow.
Focus on the plants that grow well on your soil. Look at the native trees and shrubs in you locality and plant some of these or their near relatives.
Choose bee and insect friendly herbaceous and annual flower plants. Use herbs in borders. Nectar rich garden centre plants and seed packets now show a bee logo on the label.
Transform part of your lawn into a wildlife meadow by letting it grow uncut from February to October. Plant spring bulbs into it in October and wildflower plants in March. When you cut it in October, remove the spoil.
Provide water, including a birdbath regularly cleaned and replenished, daily when fledglings are around and/or a small pond planted with native water plants and with a “beach-end” to allow safe access.
Provide shelter for amphibians, and insects by creating an undisturbed pile of rocks and another of wood and twigs for nests and hedgehogs. Allow weeds to flourish in a chosen area.
Provide insect and bird boxes.
Choose bird feed according to the birds you can see in your area. Do not overfeed Pigeons or Corvids. Clean your feeders weekly when in regular use. Place your feeders near a tree or bush for quick cover. The small birds will be more relaxed.
Compost as much of your vegetative material as possible letting very little go off site.
Then watch and wait!
Anne Hardcastle (Greener Great Coxwell)