With more and more people wanting to encourage wildlife into their gardens what better gift to give a gardener this Christmas than a ladybird house, a bug hotel or similar? Not only will the creatures they encourage add interest to the garden but they will also help to control some of pests with which many gardeners do battle.
Hours of pleasure can be obtained by watching birds feeding at bird tables. A mix of different seeds, with some fat balls and nuts hanging in feeders from the side will attract a wide range of birds. The wider the range of foodstuff and the wider range of birds will visit.
Keep children amused by getting them to keep a log of the different types of bird they see and maybe get them to sketch and colour those birds. The next step being to learn and be able to identify the different birdsong.
Bug & Bee Biome
This year saw such a huge number of aphids that with the best will in the world the blue tits couldn’t eat them all! A Bug & Bee Biome provides shelter and habitat for a whole bunch of aphid munching insects including lacewings, ladybirds and hoverflies. Lacewing larvae have a voracious appetite and will eat as many as 100 aphids per hour.
Solitary bees will also take up residence as will spiders and beetles.
On a warm summer day butterflies add magic to our gardens as they flutter from plant to plant drinking nectar. Providing them with a winter roost and extra food will make your garden one they definitely want to visit and therefore enhance.
A ladybird tower will provide a snug winter home for not only ladybirds but also other aphid munching insects such as lacewings. Made form solid oak/larch and covered with natural bark it will also be an attractive feature in the garden.
Hedgehogs are sadly in decline and need as much help as they can get. Making sure there is access through your garden by leaving a hole in the fence plus providing somewhere warm and dry to hibernate are easy steps to take. Hedgehogs will also sleep in their house during the day before setting off on their nocturnal job of crunching through the slugs and snails that would otherwise assault your garden.