The natural gardener brings gardens alive in natures garden

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natures gardenYour natural gardens do not necessarily need to be wild and unruly to be wildlife garden havens. They can be structured and organised in a way that enables you to use them as and when, whilst sharing all of the natural benefits with your wild garden friends.

Implementing all or any one of the suggestions below will give you a more natural wildlife garden and bring your gardens alive. Above all, the key is to reach a balance.

Natures Garden across the World – Gardening to Encourage Wildlife

We should all work towards making gardens more natural, include more plants and habitats aimed at encouraging and keeping wildlife in.
Bees most certainly do need all the help they can get at the moment. You can really make a difference. Single flowering species are the order of the day when selecting your trees, shrubs and border plants.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Climate Calm Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 by Karen Roe, on Flickr

This Climate Calm Garden is a response to the effects of climate change in the water-stressed South East. The garden reflects the cracks in the earth produced by prolonged dry weather and offers a dynamic method of irrigation, with rainwater collected in a water butt and upper pool. Natural hedging and trees add structure and shade to this otherwise wild garden, which acts as a haven for wildlife and has a minimal carbon footprint.
The planting is based on steppe planting in Eastern European plains; it is tough enough to tolerate temperatures which may become more typical in the UK.

Wherever you are in the world, when designing a garden, it is common to consider colour, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. However, as our world becomes more urbanized, places for wildlife are becoming rarer and planting for wildlife becomes more important. Here are some general gardening tips for the natural gardener to help you make your natural garden a haven for those with wings or fur, whether you live in the middle of the woods or on a city rooftop.

Go Native

Wildlife go with what they know, especially birds. If looking to create a happy home for your feathered friends, consider trees and shrubs native to your area. The bonus? They usually require very little maintenance, as they thrive with exactly the same water availability and temperatures that the environment already provides.

A natural gardener, a gardener that gardens in a more naturalistic way making gardens come alive with nature.

Think Food – What are you trying to attract?

Feeders are an obvious draw for luring animals to your backyard, but planting fruit, nut trees and shrubs can also bring enjoyment to a large number of animals. Deer love apples, birds love berries and seed producing plants (like sunflowers or thistles) and all sorts of animals would love pecans, walnuts, hickory nuts, acorns, hazel nuts or whatever grows well in your particular climate.

Be Colourful – Want to attract hummingbirds and butterflies?

Go bright with your flowers, particularly tubular ones, they are a great nectar source for hummingbirds and if you have some nice shrubbery nearby for them to build nests, you may have a summer long treat. Butterflies prefer nectar bearing flowers. Buddleja, or Buddleia is the plant that is associated with Butterflies.

For those who enjoy both gardening and birdwatching, it is fortunate that there’s such a plenitude of plants for attracting hummingbirds from which to choose.

Creating a Butterfly Garden involves planning your garden to attract, retain, and encourage butterfly populations to visit. You should select a variety of nectar-producing plants (butterfly food plants) with the goal of providing flowers in bloom throughout the season.

Add Water

For any creature to make your yard or garden a permanent home they need a constant source of water. If you want to think small, a birdbath should be sufficient. If you want a water feature, you should consider a few things.

  • First, chlorine is not a good idea. 
  • To avoid stagnation and mosquitoes, try a running water component, either a waterfall or fountain. 
  • Barley balls are a nice addition to help avoid mosquito larvae as well. 
  • If you want to promote frog and fish habitat, make sure you have some aquatic vegetation or overhanging ledges for them to hide.

Pestival believes insects are critical to human life on Earth. They are by far the most diverse group of animals on Earth, with over a million species documented. And yet insects are frequently misunderstood, reviled or, at best, ignored by the majority of the human population.


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