Why you should encourage wildlife into your garden!
Encouraging wildlife in your garden can significantly improve the quality of your life. Imagine waking up to the sound of birds chirping in your garden and smelling your beautiful flowers as you potter about outside. If you want to encourage more wildlife into your garden, you have come to the right space. But before we explain how you can encourage more wildlife into your garden, have you considered what nature you would like to attract? Perhaps you would like to see more birds but avoid the creepy crawlies? Unfortunately, to attract more wildlife into your garden, you need to turn your space into an ecosystem that nature can thrive on - this includes the beetles and the bugs.
Firstly, our landscapers in Chesterfield would like to congratulate you on taking the first steps to increase the biodiversity in your garden. British animals struggle every day for a safe place to call home. The last couple of centuries have seen more and more of their habitat destroyed and turned into new towns and cities. Now, more than ever, animals need your help! By increasing the biodiversity in your garden, you provide a safe space for creatures to exist and multiply, benefiting the whole country.
Let's start at the bottom of the food chain
Animals exist in perfect harmony with other creatures. Most creatures need three things to thrive: food, water and shelter. To encourage wildlife into your garden, you need to turn your garden into an ecosystem.
The ecosystem exists as a food chain. If we are looking at wildlife that is most likely to appear in a traditional English garden, we are considering: Insects, Birds, Hedgehogs, Cats and perhaps the occasional Fox. Of course, there may be others that you would be fortunate to witness. However, in a British garden, plants exist at the bottom of the food chain. Insects consume plants, birds consume insects, and so on. Therefore, to encourage wildlife into your garden, you must start with a good selection of plants and trees.
Choose plants that are a good nectar source for bees and butterflies, such as forget-me-not, foxglove and chamomile. With the proper planting plan, you can even attract insects that bats enjoy. By planting a few flowers, you have introduced two different creatures into your garden. Perennial plants, often associated with a traditional English garden design, can also be a great nectar source.
However, plants not only serve as a food source in a biodiverse garden. Trees and shrubs shelter smaller creatures such as insects, mice and hedgehogs. Providing a warm, safe place to live will attract a lot of wildlife into your garden. Another well-loved animal can also enjoy a good selection of plants - the family dog. If you have a pet dog, consider using plants to create a sensory experience that they can explore and enjoy. Just be careful not to include any plants that can be toxic to dogs - you can read about this here!
It's a Bugs life
Our landscape gardeners in Chesterfield understand that not everyone is a big fan of creepy crawlies in their garden. However, if you want to attract singing birds and cute hedgehogs onto your property, you will need to tolerate a variety of insects. On the bright side, insects tend to stay tucked away in the dirt, so unless you like to party with the caterpillars - you shouldn't have to worry about them too much!
Creating a safe place for insects to thrive is about keeping a good ecosystem in your garden. With a great selection of plants, you already have the perfect food source to keep them happy. If you want to ensure you have a good amount of insects visiting your garden, why don't you consider building (or purchasing) an insect hotel?
An insect hotel is a small wooden structure with many small tunnels for insects to live and bury themselves in. You can purchase some tailored explicitly to bees, although most of the time, the hotel is open to whoever gets there first. Simply place the hotel in the corner of your garden, or nail it to a tree or fence. As insects attract other wildlife to your garden, you should also want plenty of bee visitors to keep your plants looking fresh and healthy. Our landscapers in Chesterfield believe the secret to a well-kept garden is a healthy amount of visiting bees.
The birds will follow
Once you have a well-established ecosystem of plants and insects, it's time to start greeting some bigger and chirpier creatures into your garden. That's right; your garden will now appear like a haven for many species of birds. After all, who wouldn't want to live right next to a source of food?
Although food alone would undoubtedly help you to attract birds into your garden, for a larger quantity and to encourage them to stick around, you should consider the following features in your garden design. Make sure you supply them with a source of water. Whether you purchase a bird bath or already have a pond they can drink from, birds will have to move on if they are not nearby somewhere to drink.
Consider where the birds in your garden might sleep for the night. Do you have tall trees for them to build a nest? If not - do not worry. You can purchase bird shelters in almost all garden centres across the UK. Bird shelters come in many variations - some more suitable for certain species than others.
Recent technology has seen the invention of smart bird feeders that are brilliant for bird-watching. Within these bird feeders is a camera that will start to record whenever a visitor has come for a bite. Bird feeders will also increase the likelihood of birds visiting your garden as you ultimately increase their food supply - and provide them with more options! With a smart bird feeder, you will receive notifications on your phone whenever a new bird arrives, and you can watch them from your smartphone.
How to attract a hedgehog into your garden
When was the last time you saw a hedgehog? Can you even remember? Hedgehog populations are constantly declining for many reasons. We all must do our bit to help the hedgehog population by creating a garden where they will be safe.
Consider purchasing a hedgehog house to put into the corner of your garden, so there is a safe place for hedgehogs to rest. Hedgehogs prefer to sleep in dark corners under a lot of shrubbery, so they are hidden away from predators. Also, do not forget to create an entrance into your garden so that they can access your hedgehog home. Carve a slight arch at the bottom of your fence so they can crawl through.
Do you have children to entertain at home? Consider building a hedgehog house with them; this is a fun arts & crafts activity and encourages them to start thinking about the importance of helping wildlife. Click here to read more about things you can do in your garden that your child will love.
Our landscape gardeners in Chesterfield hope you have enjoyed reading about how you can encourage wildlife into your garden. If you are interested in reading more about garden design and landscaping, we have plenty of more blog articles for you to read!