Many people across the country are taking a fresh look at their garden and thinking about what they can do with their small, green space to help the environment and provide an area where wildlife can thrive.
‘Ungardening’ has become something of a craze, with thousands of homes ditching manicured lawns and picket fencing for a more natural look that provides a habitat for one of Britain’s greatest assets; its wildlife.
This approach has many other advantages too, as gardens that become a space for the country’s creatures need much less maintenance and equipment, and can provide an educational opportunity for children who want to learn more about birds, hedgehogs, and insects.
In this quick guide, we are going to look at a few simple dos and don’ts if you are thinking of turning your garden into a wildlife haven.
Turn Your Back on Pesticides and Chemical Treatments
In a garden that is focused on wildlife, there is no such thing as a pest. Every creature is an important part of your garden’s ecosystem, so you need to keep the chemicals out of your garden to let all the life that lives within it thrive.
This is true for more positive chemicals too that help plants grow and bloom. Any chemical can upset the natural balances in your garden, so if you do want to give your plants a helping hand you should rely on naturally produced compost or for nature to do the work for you.
Think About Adding a Pond – Water is the Key to Life
Nothing attracts wildlife like water. Just about every creature on earth requires a water source close by in order to not just survive but to thrive.
Ponds will attract insects, which will attract birds, and in turn larger creatures like hedgehogs and foxes. It also gives you the option of adding water-based plants to make your garden space more botanically diverse and colourful.
Turn a Lawn into a Meadow
Some people make the mistake of simply letting their lawn overgrow, hoping this will entice the wildlife they want to see into their garden.
Most lawns are laid with grasses that don’t grow very long and don’t offer creepy-crawlies and animals much of a habitat. Sow some different types of grass that suit them better, and add wildflowers to your seeding in order to make your manicured lawn a meadow for wildlife to enjoy and make a home in.
Educate Yourself and Your Family
Once you begin to see wildlife inhabit your garden, they are going to need your support in order to make your backyard their permanent home.
You can use books or the internet to do some research into native animals and insects, and see what plants or features would help support them and protect them from predators. Many insects will thrive if a specific plant is in your garden, and may also suffer if you have the wrong flower or plant around. With some tender and loving care, your new friends will thrive in your new, un-gardened garden.
Turning your garden into a small nature reserve is a great way to support your environment and bring some nature into your home. Children especially enjoy watching all the wildlife in a more natural garden, and the changes of the seasons will bring new life and lessons to your home all year around.