Seeing the bees and butterflies buzzing around your garden is such a delight – it is lovely to know that wildlife feel at home. If you’d like to learn more about encouraging wildlife in your garden then you’ve come to the right place. There are lots of simple changes and additions you can make to your garden to make it a wildlife-friendly place, and many of these you can do right away.
We asked Chris Beardshaw, who you may recognise from BBC Gardeners’ Question Time, to share some of his expert tips and advice on how to encourage more wildlife in your garden…
1. Encourage wildlife to visit your garden by having insect-friendly plants, like the Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox-eye daisy) and Buddleja.
2. Keep harmful chemicals to the absolute minimum in your garden as this will put wildlife off from visiting.
3. Plant hedges. Hedges are often ignored as they take up space and, unless you buy mature specimens, it takes time to fully appreciate the full visual effect. Yet, they exceed all expectations. Hedges not only ameliorate the wind, provide a wonderful wildlife habitat and add aesthetic structure, but are invaluable as a backdrop for other plants and add essential character to the winter garden.
4. Hedges have more benefit too as some species grown as a hedge can even give productive crops.
5. When taking on a new garden or developing an area of the plot, don’t hurry to impose your ideas. Lay the area to meadow, which can cost from just a few pence per square metre for the seed, and then mow paths to suit your intended scheme, and enjoy the floral reward for a season. This is without a doubt the best way to go around things – especially when the budget is tight or ideas don’t flow. Then, a little while down the line most people will feel they have a much better idea of what to do.
Chris Beardshaw: Fact File
Chris Beardshaw is a lecturer, broadcaster, author and award-winning garden designer. He has great passion for each and every garden he works on: ‘It’s immensely satisfying to see people taking ownership of their garden, and taking it forward.’ He adds: ‘I still get that tingle of excitement every time I plant a seed and watch it germinate into a new plant.’