Habitat Creation |Wildlife Gardening

Attractions to Wildlife in a garden

A Pond
A good pond is the focal point of a wildlife garden. It acts as a place where birds and mammals can drink and feed, where amphibians breed, feed and sunbathe, and where numerous insects can live or visit. If well sited and well designed, it is likely to be seething with life learn more

Habitat piles
A good example is to make a brushwood pile in the corner of your garden from fallen branches or scrub. If you have a pond make it near this so when they emerge in the spring they don't have far to go to find their summer habitat

Wildflower borders & rockeries

Larvae and adults of many insects will be catered for by introducing a wide range of food, in the form of nectar, seeds and fruit as well as vegetation. Grow night scented flowers. These attract moths and other night flying insects of particular importance to bats, for example learn more

Plant herbs and garden annuals to attract insects. Leave part of your garden unmown from about mid May to encourage insect larvae which feed on grass. Allow to seed before cutting, and rake up the hay afterwards. Sow Wildflower Seed Mixes in your borders

Some suggested Nectar Bearing plants

Apple mint Blackthorn Cuckoo flower Dames violet Globe thistle
Hawthorn Hemp agrimony Honeysuckle (climber, scented) Hyssop Ice-plant
Marjoram (scented) Mint, various (scented)

Michaelmas daisies

Sweet William Dog rose (climber)

To enhance the effect, there should be masses of suitable plants together, so that insects can see or scent the flowers from a distance. If you use night scented plants, like honeysuckle, the result will be an area that will be in use almost 24 hours a day. Butterflies in the day, and moths among many other nocturnal visitors at night.

Animal homes

These shelters are great if you don't have established plants which naturally provide shelter. These artificial structures provide alternative to homes in dead wood, mature trees, banks and other natural features that are often in short supply in the urban landscape learn more

Trees and shelter belts

At tree edges space and sunshine combine with the trees to give shelter and warmth, and insects will concentrate there. So even in the smallest garden try to have have at least one tree or shrub. Native trees support more insects than foreign species learn more

If space is limited, goat willow or field maple are quick growing and are host to many insect visitors. With a little more space, try to make a bank of vegetation to give your garden a woodland edge structure. Plant up natural gaps in hedges with a mixture of native species.

In your shelter belt you can get away with having what may be considered in other parts of the garden as weeds. They are not so likely to spread here as they will compete will other tall grasses, for example. They will undoubtedly be of benefit, as they will provide seeds and herbage for many creatures to feed on, and cover for others to hide under.

related links

Wildberks Gardening for Biodiversity