A wildlife-friendly garden is one that is free from toxic chemicals, with an organic lawn and plants. This is then a haven for letting nature take care of itself. Make your garden safe for pets to know toxic plants, trees, mulches and other items to avoid near animals.
Planting for Wildlife does not require acres of land. If you get the habitat and planting right, even the tiniest of urban gardens can host birds and bees and hedgehogs. Covering everything from going organic to making a pond and turning your green space into a wildlife haven, the simple projects can be adapted for any garden, to reconnect with the natural world on your doorstep. Jane Moore draws on 16 years of experience in creating an urban sanctuary in the heart of the city.
- Patch of the Planet is run by a couple who are experts in wildlife-friendly garden/landscape design who have a YouTube channel, which has free instructional videos to grow your own organic food gardens, and protect wildlife at the same time. They also offer beautiful ‘glamping’ holidays on an organic smallholding with stunning views over Pembrokeshire and an array of wildlife including a willow woodland and regular visits from Red Kites. It’s a stone’s throw from neolithic sites with local Blue Stone (as found at Stonehenge).
- Clear all wire, netting, elastic bands and use gull-proof rubbish bags and crush cans (remove tops to avoid jagged edges).
- Use non-toxic wood treatment and replace slug/snail pellets with safe humane methods.
- Avoid bonfires and don’t fork compost.. Use garden shears (not strimmers) and gently sweep grass with broom, before mowing.
- Boycott beer sold in plastic rings.
- Use humanely critter solutions (like Mouse Mesh to deter rodents: don’t cover gas vents and clean regularly).
- Keep cats indoors at dawn and dusk (birds are feeding). Keep dogs on leads at night (they could be injured by hedgehogs).
- Pollen-rich flowers are best to save our bees (bee houses can attract mites, bees then die). Leave piles of rocks, twigs & wood for shelter, and avoid peat compost.
- See how to deter garden moles without harm and how to save our hedgehogs. If demolishing a shed, know that baby hogs don’t leave the nest for at least 8 weeks.
- Ensure ponds have sloping sides. Locate away from full sun/shade (avoid water-lilies near pets).
- Compost bins are good homes for woodlice, slow worms & insects.
- Use a manual tool (or hands) to remove weeds.
- Rock gardens are low-maintenance, mason bees love them.
- See how to help our garden birds.
- See safer alternatives to netting for wildlife and wildlife-friendly fencing.
Bring the Wild Into Your Garden is a beautiful guide to create a wildlife sanctuary. Whether you long to see butterflies flit across your flowerbeds or hear birdsong all year round, show nature the kindness it deserves. With practical projects and helpful tips for gardens big and small, this guide will help boost biodiversity and benefit countless native species. Learn how to:
- Choose the best type of bird feeder and seed, for feathered friends
- Build natural habitats and provide shelter for insects
- Make sugaring recipes to attract butterflies and moths
- Select the right pollinator plants for bees in every season
Whever you do it – on a balcony, in a garden or across acres of land, you too can create the perfect sanctuary for an abundance of creatures.
The Little Book of Wild Gardening looks at how working with nature benefits the gardener, wildlife and the wider environment. Divided into different garden areas (lawns, flower beds, edibles, trees and water features), this book details how to embrace a natural approach to gardening, for plots large and small. The first chapters look at how garden ecosystems work, and how a healthy garden can mean savings in both work and resources. There are plant profiles and design tips, plus info on making a sustainable veg patch, a wildflower meadow, a bat box and gravel garden.
How to Create a Wildlife Garden is an inspiring book that shows how simple gardening techniques can provide a dazzling plant display, while helping native wildlife. This book offers easy instructions with advice on planning and design, showing how we can share our outdoor space with nature.
The authors show how to encourage beneficial garden species, and naturally discourage more unwelcome ones, so they go off to live in the wild away from your garden. With a wealth of practical advice and detailed photography, this is the ideal sourcebook for gardeners and wildlife enthusiasts.
The authors provide garden design ideas ranging from those fit for country spaces to those that can flourish in an urban setting. And show how to make bee, butterfly and bird-friendly borders. They cover common species like insect-eating birds (such as barn swallows), herbivores (such as deer) and advice on how to foster a deep and mutually beneficial relationship with the natural world. Publishers Weekly
Christine and Mick Lavelle are lecturers in horticulture and plant ecology at Writtle University College. Christine teaches horticulture for RHS and Mick has designed medal-winning educational exhibits at Chelsea Flower Show.