10 ways to turn your back garden into an idyllic wildlife paradise
Ten simple steps to transform your garden into an irresistible natural habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and all manner of wildlife.
1. Build a shelter Offer shelter for birds to nest, or somewhere they can fly to, to stay safe. Depending on the size of your outdoor space this could be in trees or tall shrubs. Bird boxes and feeders will help attract wildlife to your garden during the winter months when food is in short supply.
2. Grow a meadow or wildflower area Wildflower seeds are easy to buy and a good choice for beginner gardeners. They require little maintenance and work well in any sized garden. Sunflowers, lavender, wisteria and dahlias are all good pollinating plants and are great for attracting bees and butterflies.
3. Use an organic fertiliser Using fertiliser in your garden is a good way to encourage plant growth and maintain healthy soil – both of which are important for attracting wildlife. It’s better to use organic matter, such as PlantGrow fertiliser, which is environmentally friendly, produced sustainably and contains no harmful or toxic chemicals dangerous to wildlife or animals. It’s not always easy to know which products are best for your garden, which is why we recommend always reading the label and speaking to a specialist if you’re not sure.
4. Avoid cutting your perennials Avoid trimming perennial plants like coneflowers, peonies or primroses. Leaving just one of your borders untouched and allowing the seed heads to grow can provide food for insects and small mammals. Don’t sweep away the fallen stems – these can be used as a shelter by amphibians and insects.
5. Fix a trellis or climber to your fence Buy a trellis or screw wires onto your fence to encourage foliage to grow up along the panels. It’s a great way to add decoration to your garden and disguise worn fences. Insects and birds will use the added height to build nests.
6. Plant native flowers and trees You’re more likely to entice garden visitors if you grow plants or trees that they’ve adapted to. Look online to find out what grows in your region. Take a walk around the area and snap pictures of the hedgerows. You can use apps and image searches to tell you exactly what type of flower it is.
7. Avoid using slug pellets Avoid using slug pellets if you want to attract wildlife into your garden. Chemical slug pellets are detrimental for wildlife. PlantGrow’s organic Slug and Snail barrier is non-toxic and uses 100% natural ingredients. It will help keep your plants safe without damaging the food source that many other animals find beneficial.
8. Add some potted plants to your urban garden Use pots to grow wildflowers, sunflowers and dahlias. They don’t take up much space and will allow you to create an idyllic wildlife haven even in an urban setting.
9. Dig a pond This is one of the best ways to attract wildlife to your garden and is easier to build than you may think. Dig your own or use an old bathtub or large pot to create your pond. Fill it using collected rainwater or a hose. Introduce plant life, then watch and wait as the wildlife comes to gather. Many birds of prey, frogs and hedgehogs will use the pond as a source of water, and it will attract dragonflies and other pond life to set up home.
10. Condition your soil Use this time to prepare your soil and get it ready for spring. Our soil conditioning natural fertiliser will replenish your soil’s nutrients, improve its fertility and make it more water-resistant – helping your new wildlife garden to flourish.
For more help building and caring for your wildlife garden call us on 01953 525001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more garden tips and ideas follow us on Facebook or Instagram @plantgrowuk.