Wildlife Garden Plants
Evenings are at last starting to get lighter. Soon we will be able to appreciate butterflies and bees buzzing from one plant to the other, dragonflies dancing on a lazy summers evening on the water’s edge. Wildlife visiting our gardens is a real pleasure for one to observe and an important one to cherish. Increasingly, wildlife is in need of and finding safe havens in our gardens.
Introducing certain plants and features within garden designs helps encourage a wide variety of species of wildlife including birds, bats and hedgehogs. Green corridors increase biodiversity providing welcome shelter and food so wildlife can thrive and nest in our gardens throughout the seasons.
Incorporating wildlife-friendly planting to garden design is easy to achieve. Choose from a wide array of spectacular climbers and flowering plants displaying both colour and aromatic fragrances. The elegant Honeysuckle flower with its beautiful fragrance attracts moths which in turn feeds birds and bats. The red berries provide food for birds which can nest in more mature plants and butterflies are drawn to the honeysuckle’s long tubular flower.
Plants with form and structure in a garden design benefit wildlife. Bellflowers and foxgloves with their tubular shape are wonderful feeding grounds for bees. Teasels with their height and form are loved by insects and pollinators, birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seed. Sunflowers towering high in a garden provide giant seedbeds for birds as well as being pollen havens for wildlife. Flowering species with single flowers are best as double flowering plants become inaccessible to smaller insects. Plants with an abundance of pollen and nectar help perform fertilisation which in turn helps seed and fruit production. Rich sources of pollen and nectar throughout the year will ensure wildlife keep returning.
Native shrubs, hedges and trees provide perfect nesting sites with an abundance of fruits and haw for birds and other small mammals to feast upon. Hawthorn not only benefits wildlife, but the fragrant white flowers and red fruit dotted amongst the leaves blend magnificently in to any garden design. Once you have harvested all the juicy fruit from the fruit trees in your garden, any leftover rotting fruit will attract butterflies – an excellent source of food for these resplendent creatures.
If you already have mature trees in your garden these provide shelter. Birds will love visiting bird feeders to the branches as an additional source of food. Insects such as Beetles, centipedes and woodlice shelter and feed at the feet of trees which in turn benefits the larger wildlife chain higher up the food chain.
Finally, water features provide hydration throughout the seasons with rockeries offering shelter for smaller creatures. Newts, frogs, dragonflies and even bats darting around at dusk like to feed on the insects gathering by the waterside. Introducing some simple wildlife-friendly planting will enable you to not only enjoy your garden but also help our British wildlife thrive.