CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Deborah Griffiths shares her top tips for wildlife gardening

PUBLISHED: 10:55 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:55 12 August 2014

Archant

Deborah Griffiths from The Wildlife Trust says creating a prize wildlife garden does not mean weeds and overgrowth

Many gardeners are shy of wildlife gardening, maybe they lack confidence in their abilities or shudder at the thought of leaving the garden to ‘go wild’. This is the problem with wildlife gardening, it has an unfortunate image, we imagine an untidy mess or that you need to be an experienced gardener to try. Worse still the name ‘wildlife gardening’ sometimes makes people feel guilty for not turning their garden into a nature reserve. We garden for many reasons but we often garden for pleasure, we want to enjoy our gardens not feel excluded from them.

What if I told you that wildlife gardening is actually about practising good garden management? Good management is creating the right balance. This is all very well me saying this when you have a vast horde of slugs aiming for your Hostas. The reason the slugs are in such numbers is usually because there is a natural imbalance of predators and prey within the garden. Thankfully slugs, aphids and many other animals we think of as garden pests are very low on the food chain and are eaten by lots of animals like blackbirds, frogs, ground beetles and hedgehogs. Attracting these animals that won’t wreak havoc in your garden can really help keep the numbers in check.

One of the simplest ways of enticing wildlife to you garden is to provide nectar rich plants, as these attract the insect life other animals feed upon. Nectar rich garden plants are easy to grow, are superb for wildlife and often have showy flowers; like the single flowered Hollyhock or Echinacea.

The RHS Perfect for Pollinators scheme has lists of suitable plants for every season. Native plants may also be nectar rich, beautiful and easily grown in a garden setting. Once established, many natives provide the natural food plants for the larvae of insects that help attract wildlife as well as seeds.

Good management can also be about making small changes, like altering your watering regime from the evening to the early morning; slugs are nocturnal and enjoy the moist conditions evening watering creates. Leaving dead herbaceous stems on the plants over winter not only helps wildlife to hibernate, but can help protect the plant against frost damage. With some very simple changes you can help local wildlife, while still managing a beautiful people friendly garden.

It may be that you already garden in a wildlife friendly way, in which case we’d love to thank you by inviting you to apply for the Wildlife Gardening Award Scheme we have at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. It is free and simple to apply for. We have four categories - Food, Water, Shelter and Sustainability and you need to choose two items that you do in your garden from each category to qualify for the award. When you win an award you will be sent a plaque for your garden, a certificate and a Wildlife Gardening poster. Even if you are not sure you qualify, you can check the application form and use our Wildlife Gardening website pages to help give wildlife a warm welcome.

If you are interested in knowing more about wildlife gardening we have produced a Wildlife Gardening Information Pack full of hints and tips about how to make changes to your garden to help wildlife.

For full details of all aspects of Wildlife Gardening and how to gain the award, please see the Trust’s website: www.hiwwt.org.uk/wildlife-gardening or email wildlifegardening@hiwwt.org.uk

--------------------------------------------------

Read on

Peter Hutchings from the Wildlife Trust on our connection with the badger

New byelaws secure the long-term future of Solent seagrass

Butterflies to look out for in Hampshire

More from Out & About

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Savour spectacular views of the Needles and Alum Bay and discover history tales on this invigorating walk on the Isle of Wight

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Hampshire

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Havant a clue where to go or what to do? Here are some pointers to parks, paths and performances

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

With its connections to Shakesepeare and royalty, the village of Titchfield is full of surprises

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

As the mellow fruitfulness of autumn takes hold across the New Forest, what could be better than spending a few days in and around Lyndhurst? We take a tour and come up with our top 8

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Hampshire is full of autumnal scenes this month, so we asked the county’s photographers to share their secret spots for stunning vistas

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Remember, remember… Here’s a quick round up of some stunning displays across Hampshire this year

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Is this the ultimate city break? Winchester has it all: from ancient history to space exploration, plus cafes, cocktails, culture and countryside… But with so much to do, choices are going to have to be made

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Our guide to some of the best Halloween events on offer across Hampshire this October

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

The community shop is thriving. Why? And what makes the perfect village store? We went in search…

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

From Jane Austen to Karl Marx, our towns and villages have fascinating links to some of the biggest historical celebrities. Viv Micklefield follows in their footsteps with the help of a blue plaque or two

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We round up 8 things you didn’t know about this little South Downs village

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Enjoy some easy walking around the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve says Fiona Barltrop

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search