If like me you love nature and wildlife then you’re probably thinking about increasing the wild habitants in your garden. There are many ways you can encourage new species into your outdoor space and many of them don’t have to cost you a fortune.
We purchased a house a few years ago and love spending time in the garden, both when it’s sunny and when it’s cloudy. We built a veranda on the back of the house which allows us to sit outside whatever the weather and enjoy this space.
One thing we didn’t initially do was to think about the animals that visit the garden and the entertainment they bring. Now we have put a few thing in place, we can sit with the children and admire this natural marvel.
Number One – Install a small garden pond
Installing a garden pond requires a little bit of hard work and about £100, but it’s become the centre of attention in our garden. It’s encouraged a whole host of creatures to come into our home and has become the centre of our garden. We can sit for hours just watching the animals go about their business. It’s become a beautiful little unique ecosystem.
You can read all about my pond installation by clicking here.
The pond took a couple of days to install and within two months it was teeming with life. We now have frogs, newts, water snails, and a host of insects. We even have a hedgehog living in the garden who likes the drink from the pond.
Number Two – Bird feeders and sunflowers
Birds are a spectacle to admire in the garden and it doesn’t cost a bomb to invite them in. We installed a couple of hanging bird feeders and a bird table which provides a feeding platform for a host of different species.
Simple bird feeders dotted around the garden will draw in a number of different species depending on the type of seed you provide. Bird feeder stands are also great and can prevent larger birds from taking all the food.
My bird table was handmade but you could consider one of these or look in your local garden centre.
Sunflowers are another great addition to the garden during the summer. You can grow them from seed in March, April or May and watch them flourish in summer. They provide both nectar for the bees and seeds for the birds.
Number Three – Housing
All kinds of animals will make a home in your garden so it’s worth investing in a house or two. These can be purchased or you can simply allow for these homes to be made within your garden. You just need to be careful not to interrupt them.
You can buy bird houses and install them in trees, on out-buildings or telephone poles. Anywhere is suitable as long as it’s up high and out of the reach of predators. Here are some of my favourites on Amazon.
Etsy is a great place to find handmade bird houses. Here are some of my favourites:
You should also consider placing a hedgehog house in your garden. Hedgehogs are quite rapidly disappearing in the UK with numbers more than halving since 2000 so it’s important for people to help support them if found in their gardens. We have a hedgehog living under our shed but you can provide a house for them like one of these on Amazon.
Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter so once a house has been installed it’s important to leave it alone. Installation should be in a quiet corner of the garden that is out of sight. Here’s a picture of our resident hedgehog.
You can also find some beautiful handmade hedgehog houses on Etsy here. These are my favourites:
There’s also a shortage of insects which are a vital part of our ecosystems. Encouraging insects into your garden will in turn encourage other wildlife.
Try these bargains on Amazon which are suitable for all gardens, big or small.
Look at this little Fox moth caterpillar we found crawling around the garden. I say little but it was quite big for a caterpillar.
Number Four – Grow wildflowers
Growing wild flowers in your garden is super easy and will invite bees, butterflies and other insects into your garden. This in turn will bring birds and other small insect eaters. Here’s a picture of our wildflower patch in our garden.
You can buy wildflower seed bombs or wildflower seed packets which can simply be thrown onto untreated soil anywhere in your garden. No need to dig and place seeds. these seed bombs simply disintegrate into the soil and germinate naturally.
Number Five – Planting fruit trees
Fruit trees not only provide a lush tasty fruits for you to enjoy but will also help fertilise the soil and feed worms and other creepy crawly’s around the garden. This will all help to feed the mini eco-system around your house.
We currently have a pear tree, apple tree, cherry tree, plumb tree and a mulberry tree in our garden. They don’t take up too much space and look amazing in the spring when they flower. Then of course is the tasty fruits they provide. Here’s our cherry tree in flower.
Our plumb tree was about 1m tall when we purchased it and in only 3 years it grew to be about 8m tall and provided a bounty of plumbs. So you can try grown your trees from seed or buy young established trees from a local garden centre or even have them delivered from Amazon.
Number Six – Lavender and other bee encouraging plants
Encouraging bees into the garden is a must to ensure the survival of plants and animals alike. Planting lavender in your garden will bring in bees and other pollinators and help fertilise fruit trees and any veg you might have growing in your garden.
We’ve been trying to grow vegetables like courgette, cucumber and carrots in our garden and we always find that those closer to the lavender always do a little better.
Number Seven – Don’t cut your grass
This is a simple one. During the spring months try leave the grass to grown a little longer than normal. This will allow smaller flowers such as daisies and buttercups to grown and feed pollen eaters.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it gives you a few ideas to increase the wildlife in your garden as it has mine.
Why not take a look at some more of my DIY projects around the home and garden.