Encouraging wildlife to our gardens is great for so many reasons.
It provides them with safe spaces to eat, drink and shelter. With these tips and tricks, you can recycle items in your garden to invite wildlife into your garden and encourage them to come back again and again.
Keep hold of your plastic bottles as these are perfect containers to make bird feeders.
• Cut a hole in the side of the bottle, which is big enough for seeds to flow through, but not too big that they will all spill out easily.
• Spike a few holes in the bottom of the bottle for any rainwater to drain out of then fill the bottle with bird seeds.
• Pierce a hole in the lid and feed strong string or a wire through and hang the feeder from a tree or washing line.
• Keep the feeder well stocked to keep the birds coming back for more, and if the feeder gets worn out over time, make a new one!
• If you have a plinth as a platform then use that to stage your shallow container, but if not, position 4 bricks to raise the bath off the ground.
• Put some stones or gravel into the base and then fill with water, either tap water or rainwater that you have saved.
• The position is key as you want to keep your flying friends safe. The perfect spot is somewhere that birds can have a good view and quickly fly into the cover if they need to. In addition, if you have cats, be mindful to check that there’s no place they can hide and pounce nearby.
Using any open-fronted object like a picture frame, biscuit tin or old storage drawers to create an insect hotel that will welcome ladybirds, woodlice and bees, among others.
• If your container is quite large, maybe use smaller ones within that to make unique compartments using bottles and small plant pots.
• Begin layering materials in the frame, with the bottom layer as sticks or hollow bamboo canes, crossing the gap within.
• On top of that, place a cut piece of wood that is the width of the tyre to separate the layers, or if you are placing compartments together, arrange where you want your next one to be placed.
• Cut an old hose pipe and use these in the next level along with twigs alongside a hollow cylindrical object such as a plant pot or tube to add some structure.
• Add another level of wood and finish off with a level of pinecones, sticks, dry leaves, pampas grass, to fill up the hotel.
• Make a fun ‘hotel’ or ‘vacancies’ sign and your hotel is open for business.
From amphibians to birds and insects to mammals the garden is alive with spectacular wildlife displays and you may not even know they were there!
These are great projects for you to work on, and the kids will love to get involved too. Once they’re up in your garden, all you need to do is pull up a chair and see which creatures visit.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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