Has anyone noticed how wonderfully light it is at 6pm now? And the spring blooms of snowdrops, daffodils and camellias are popping up all over the place? This can only mean one thing – we have passed the dark winter months and the promise of spring is upon us! As the weather gets milder it’s time to venture outside, unwrap the garden from its winter slumber and prepare it for the coming months of growth and rejuvenation.
There is the usual pruning, soil prepping and clearing to be done over the next couple of weeks but why not turn your garden into a wildlife haven this year? Be it bugs or butterflies, birds or bees our British wildlife is constantly in need of food and habitats, and what’s more wonderful than watching the wildlife from the comfort of your garden? Here are ten top tips to make your garden a wildlife haven, and if you haven’t a garden why not stay at one of our wonderful Forgotten Houses and enjoy a garden whilst on holiday?
Bosvathick Lodge sits on the edge of the Bosvathick Estate and provides a wonderful variety of countryside from ornate gardens and meadows to historic artefacts and orchards. The gardens and historic house are open to the public during summer season – for more details visit http://bosvathickhouse.co.uk/.
- Put up a bird box – find a tree away from prevailing winds to erect a nesting box for small birds, you may even get bats in there!
- Grow wildflowers – Wildflower patches encourage butterflies, bees and dragonflies to come and feed from the array of beautiful wild flowers.
- Plant wildlife friendly flowers – Plants that provide pollen and nectar all year round are perfect for all flying creatures, from Crocus in the spring to daisies for the autumn.
- Create a bug hotel – Leaving a pile of dead wood and branches in a shady area is a wonderful place for smaller creatures to inhabit such as grubs, insects and even hedgehogs, or why not get the children involved and build a bug hotel? Instructions can be found here on how to construct your hotel for the right visitors!
- Hang a bird feeder – Help attract small birds to your garden by placing a bird feeder in a sheltered spot away from the ground and predators such as cats. Fill it with a mix of food from seeds, kitchen scraps and fat balls to berries and seedheads and watch the birds feast away.
- Add water to your garden – A water feature is not only aesthetically pleasing but it can attract a huge array of wildlife; ensure one side is sloping or shallow to encourage frogs and newts.
- Create a compost heap – Not only useful for you and your garden but a wonderful haven for grubs, worms, insects and even snakes (harmless ones!). Use kitchen scraps, shrub cuttings and dead leaves to add rich variety to your compost.
- Create a rock garden – A pile of rocks with interspersed plants can look great and be a wonderful habitat for small animals and insects. Create small spaces by overlapping rocks which are perfect for voles, mice and frogs to inhabit.
- Ensure variety in your garden – Simply having a range of trees and shrubs in your garden can help to attract an array of birds and wildlife. Why not plant trees or shrubs that blossom or fruit to provide a useful crop for you and your wildlife?
- Create a bog garden – wonderful for children and safer than a pond a bog garden is a haven for wetland animals and marshland plants.