Having a beautiful garden is a great goal to work toward, but a garden can be made so much better by attracting as much wildlife to it as possible. Butterflies, birds, bees of all varieties, and a vast range of other kinds of wildlife can transform a garden from an aesthetic pleasure to a thriving, living place, a true oasis.
Fortunately, it’s actually incredibly easy to start bringing in local wildlife to your garden, as we will explore here.
1. Always Choose Indigenous
It might seem tempting to go for a plant that’s exotic; maybe it’s come from a far-off Asian country and would look really nice near to your front door. But it’s also a plant that most local insects won’t recognise, and they’ll instead find a garden that has plants they prefer.
Indigenous plants are those that are endemic to the area, meaning that they are adapted to the climate, generally need far less care, and tend to be great for the insects in the surrounding area. It can be as easy as getting a hold of a plant book and going for a walk to find a few seeds or small plants that you can transplant into your garden.
2. A Source of Water
All living beings need water, and having access to clean, still water almost certainly means that a variety of creatures, both big and small, will find their way to your garden.
From small rodents taking a drink to insects making pit-stops in the heat of the afternoon, creating a pond is both easy and incredibly effective. Having a birdbath is another great method of attracting birdlife, allowing them to drink and bathe.
3. Dead Logs and Trees
Everyone has turned over a dead log at one point or another and been fascinated by the amount of life that suddenly begins to scurry away when exposed to light. Insects of all shapes and sizes will gravitate toward logs left in a garden, eating the wood, making homes, and using it as shelter.
Solitary bees like to build tunnels in dry wood, so it might be worth putting up a few old pieces of wood for them to find.
4. A Small Sandbath
Birds love to wash themselves in sand, but a patch of sand will also be great for wasps to lay eggs and for lizards to sunbath after a cold night, making for some great viewing that can only be matched by the latest entertainment online.
Removing some grass and dumping a bag of sand means that creating a sandbath is easy and quick and will be a favourite for countless animals.
5. Plant Wildflowers
When it comes to the pollinators, nothing works quite as well as local wildflowers. They tend to bloom throughout the year, depending on the region, and will be targeted by bees, butterflies, and a variety of other pollinators looking for some nectar.
It might be worth avoiding plants that are over-bred, as these tend to not produce quite as much nectar as endemic wildflower species.