While your garden may be absolutely wonderful to look at, you, like many other gardeners, might feel that it could do with a little more life and vibrancy. With spring almost upon us, you may want to encourage a little more wildlife in your garden, besides the neighbour’s cat who likes using your flowerbed as a litter tray! Here are some great ways to go about it…
DIY Bird Food
Winter is the season when birds need our feeders more than ever. Still, now that the weather’s getting a little warmer, they certainly won’t mind a little something extra! A lot of the pre-mixed bird foods you’ll see on sale use cheaper ingredients, for example beans, dried rice and lentils. All you need is a few simple components to create bird food much better than any you can buy at any garden centre. Mix some melted lard (with no margarine) with a mixture of different seeds – sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds, millet and peanuts are all popular choices. Then, pour this mixture carefully into a container that will be able to weather the elements, like half a coconut shell. Just leave it to set, and you’ll be all done. You can keep squirrels away from it by hanging the feeder from the end of a branch with some string.
Install a Pond
Installing a pond in your garden is a fantastic way to add a whole new dimension to your garden, and provide a habitat to a lot of wildlife. It will be a source of drinking water for small mammals and birds, and provide a home to frogs, toads, newts, and a range of insects. You can even get a few koi or other fish if you feel up to caring for them. No matter how large or small your garden is, there’s usually at least some space for a bit of standing water. Even on a small, urban patio, simply filling a large container with water, and adding some plants, stones and other pond supplies can be enough to bring so much more wildlife into your garden.
Stag Beetle Bucket
These fascinating beetles are endangered in the UK, but one simple feature can make their fight for survival so much easier. All you have to do is get your hands on a standard plastic bucket, then cut holes of at least two inches around the base and sides. Next, dig a hole in a quiet corner of the garden, deep enough so that the rim is only just below the ground. Then, start filling the bucket with soil and bark chippings, and simply wait for the beetles to move in naturally. Stag beetle larvae can live for up to five years, so it’s important you place it somewhere where it can’t easily be disturbed by cats or foxes. You may not love creepy crawlies, but you’ll be doing your bit to sustain the country’s delicate ecosystem.
There you have just a few great ways to make your garden a haven for wildlife.