I am known to complain to Jared because he can become very obsessed with our garden. An unruly garden doesn’t bother me too much, but an unruly house really does. Sometimes it is all he talks about, and he has been known to be outside digging at every available opportunity removing earth and reorganising things come wind, rain or shine.
Our garden is quite big, and we wanted to make sure that we dedicated an area of it to wildlife. We decided to take a patch at the front of the house, behind our garage to create a little wildlife area. After some reading we came up with some simple ideas to transform it into an area wildlife would enjoy:
- A shallow pond – Water is essential for life and even a tiny, shallow pond will become something for wildlife to drink, bathe and breed in. We decided to add a shallow pond with a shelf for plants to encourage lots of small creatures. The fun part was watching the rain slowly fill up the pond over the course of a few days.
- Bee friendly flowers – Many popular flowers are hardy but do not attract bees and butterflies, so it’s essential to plant flowers that bees will love. We’re going to be planting some lavender as well as some meadow flowers which we’re hoping will be a success.
- Bird boxes and feeders – In our back garden we have a variety of birds that feed from our bird feeders. Jared did a lot of research regarding different types of seeds to buy and it was amazing how quickly they attracted new birds. We are going to move all of them to the front and add some bird boxes around the side.
- A hedgehog house – We brought our hedgehog house with us from our old house, but haven’t had any success with it so far. In our new garden we have made some holes underneath our fence to allow hedgehogs to pass through freely. We have moved the hedgehog house close to a hedge, covered it in leaves and are hoping for the best.
- A solitary bee habitat – These are easy to buy or make, and need to be in a sunny spot and angled down so that they don’t fill with water.
- A mini hibernaculum – Hibernacula come in many forms, but a simple one is a large plant pot half buried and filled with leaves. It is to encourage a variety of invertebrates to shelter from the elements.
- A log / rock pile – This is such an easy way to attract slugs, snails and bigger animals like hedgehogs. Make sure that you leave lots of gaps for wildlife to squeeze through.
You really don’t need a big garden to welcome wildlife into it, and so many of the ideas we read about were not only simple, but cheap too.
Many thanks to Pen & Sword for helping us to get started with our wildlife area.