Fun ideas for creating a wildlife friendly garden

(23 Posts)
Zoomtothespoon Sun 29-May-16 16:48:25

Hey everyone

I mean to do this every year and then suddenly it's summer and I'm too late.

I would like to create a fun and colourful bug and wildlife garden with my son (nearly 7) so show him how important wildlife is and to hopefully attract some bug and bird visitors.

I have a south west facing garden and have 2 apples trees and fence all around.

What could I do? I'm going to invest in some bird feeders, bug hotels and flowers but not really sure where to start!

He really likes bees- we saved one from his paddling pool last year and ever since he's been very fond of them so my particular focus would be on attracting bees and the important of them

Any ideas would be great fully received

TIA

Allalonenow Sun 29-May-16 17:08:35

A buddleia for butterflies
Plant some sunflowers for the seedheads
Let a patch of grass stay long
Don't dig up any thistles
A few mounds of stones in damp places for creepy crawlies
Put different types of seeds in your feeders to see what attracts particular birds eg niger seeds

Tummyrumbled Sun 29-May-16 17:17:22

I'm in the middle of doing this at the moment.

- herb garden (especially the ones for pollinators) rosemary, thyme, lavender, sage
- native plants that would attract bees
-planting birds food trefoil in the lawn (the plant is the food source for common blue butterfly)/ or lawn with clovers and self heal
- small mini pond
- honeysuckle, clematis as climbers
- small insect hotel
- bird food and small reservoir for bird bath

Tummyrumbled Sun 29-May-16 17:19:27

birds foot trefoil

ANewIdentitytoJazzItUpABit Sun 29-May-16 17:22:12

A clover patch for the bees!

Tummyrumbled Sun 29-May-16 17:23:42

www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/gardening/wildlife-friendly_garden.aspx

LetThereBeCupcakes Sun 29-May-16 17:24:51

You can make big houses together, lots of ideas online. Simplest one I found was lots of bamboo canes cut to size and put in a short piece of wide plastic pipe.

Log pile?

LetThereBeCupcakes Sun 29-May-16 17:25:40

Bug not big! Though you could make a big bug house if you so wished...

Tummyrumbled Sun 29-May-16 18:09:59

www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2J9ea6Zj5M
Lots of ideas from RSPB

traviata Sun 29-May-16 20:07:31

Top of the list is a pond. We dug a pond which is about 1.5m x 1m. Within a few months we had frogs, newts, & damselflies all breeding in it, plus snails, water boatmen, and all the other pond life. Bees also need water.

Make a stack of old wood and roof tiles somewhere quiet.

If you get one of those insect houses with lost of holes (or made from small lengths of cane etc), make sure it's in a sunny spot and put it somewhere stable. I made the mistake of hanging one from a branch but they want it to be still and warm. Solitary bees live in them.

It's worth googling bee friendly flowers, because lots of nice scented ones are not actually suitable for bees due to overbreeding - and make sure they are not sterile varieties with no pollen or nectar!

Allalonenow Sun 29-May-16 21:07:11

YY to the pile of rotting logs, and cheap to da too.
Also don't be too enthusiastic to sweep up fallen leaves, pile them in a corner out of the wind.

If you can't manage a pond, a bird bath is also very good, and fun to watch.

Zoomtothespoon Mon 30-May-16 11:31:25

Thank you for all your suggestions!

The pond will be impractical for me as I also have a 13 month old (she's like a bloody Houdini) and am expecting again but a bird bath is absolutely fine!

My green fingered brother is coming over to also take a look at my garden then we will be off to the garden centre to pick up supplies!

I'm really excited grin

wildliferanger Mon 30-May-16 12:25:38

Be careful at the garden centre as very few of them stock native wildflowers and it's easy to come home with something that will take over.
Best to get your plants from a specialist who knows the best native wildflowers to get.
Also, don't rule out a wildlife pond as they shouldn't have steep sides and be dangerous.
A well-made wildlife pond should be perfectly safe for small children.
Check out www.wildlifeservices.co.uk and call me for advice.

Allalonenow Mon 30-May-16 12:27:07

You can get some interesting wild flower seed mixes now, maybe give DS his own little patch/border where he can sow them, or they might be pretty in tubs also.

As a child I always had my own garden, usually sown with cottage garden seed mix, lots of cornflowers, smile and radishes, beetroot and borage were other favourites.

JT05 Tue 31-May-16 20:32:16

All the above suggestion also foxgloves and thyme, bees love them.

FireflyGirl Tue 31-May-16 22:22:06

Just a word on Foxgloves - they are toxic if eaten. With two little ones, you'd want to plant them behind other plants so they're not accessible.

DS is 14 months and will stick anything in his mouth if he thinks it'll get a reaction from me. I love foxgloves, but they will not be making a reappearance in my garden for a few years now!

I have triffid-sized rather large geraniums, and the bees love them. They also provide shelter for lots of bugs.

dementedma Tue 31-May-16 22:29:32

I let our garden grow pretty wild and r rambly. We have buddliea and borage for the bees, the sparrows love red hot pokers in late summer,sunflowers are good for seed heads too, a bird bath and feeders are great.Herbs like thyme are good too, and plants such as sedum. Patches of nettles are good for caterpillars, clover will attract bees.
Despite all this have seen very few butterflies, bees or ladybirds this year......

Allalonenow Tue 31-May-16 23:04:37

I'd avoid foxgloves for now as you have small children, but bees love lavender too, and it's pretty in a border, edging a path or in pots.

Babettescat Wed 01-Jun-16 18:29:18

https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/pdf/conservation-and-biodiversity/wildlife/rhs-perfect-for-pollinators-wildflowers

CruCru Thu 02-Jun-16 11:22:44

A compost heap! I buy worms and the kids like putting them in.

I have a wildflower patch but most wild flowers (not just foxgloves) are poisonous.

Herbs are great (and usually cheap). A fennel in flower will attract wasps. Thyme, rosemary, marjoram are all great for bees.

I also grow catmint, lavender, broom, sea holly, heuchera, cotoneaster, poached egg plant, love in a mist, sunflowers and guelder rose.

Tummyrumbled Thu 02-Jun-16 19:44:02

pond in a container or bog in a pot?

CruCru Thu 02-Jun-16 21:27:27

Also chives! And salvia!

gardeningmum Fri 03-Jun-16 15:24:45

We had a go at making a bee watering hole

kidsinthegarden.co.uk/making-a-bee-watering-hole/

The wildlife Trusts also have loads of ideas on their websites

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