How to create a wildlife garden

How to create a wildlife garden

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Creating a garden that helps local wildlife has become very popular in recent years, particularly because of the climate crisis. With dwindling numbers of pollinating insects like bees and butterflies due to weather changes, the people of Britain have taken it upon themselves to support their local ecosystems by turning their gardens into mini wildlife sanctuaries.

From home-made birdfeeders to wildflower meadows, there are so many options you could try if you’re planning a wildlife garden. Read on for some of our top tips and ideas you could use to create a wildlife garden that works for you and your local wildlife.

What is a wildlife garden?

A wildlife garden is an outdoor space that uses different materials to attract lots of wild animals, insects and birds to provide them with food and shelter, and to further pollinate and support your own local wildlife around your home.

You can encourage all sorts of friendly visitors to your patch of heaven, including badgers, red squirrels, rare birds, and all sorts of fauna that might be looking for a peaceful refuge among the busy roads and high streets.

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How to create a wildlife garden

Most gardens start off as a bit of a blank canvas – a patch of grass, maybe a patio, and sometimes some trees. Luckily, this is the best place to start! All you need to do is look after your soil and get it into a good enough condition to let wildflowers grow, and often wildflowers are quite tough little things, so can handle growing strong in soil that’s not quite perfect.

You can create a lawn using artificial grass, and although you can’t grow flowers on it, you can use it to give your garden more green space and cover up any areas you might be less keen on, like an old patio or driveway, in a cheaper and easier way than putting down grass turf. Our artificial grass care guide has all sorts of tips on how to keep it looking bonny and bright like the rest of your wildlife garden!

When considering options for your home and garden, artificial grass may appear to be an attractive choice. However, it's worth noting that artificial grass is not the most environmentally friendly option due to its use of petroleum-based materials and significant energy requirements for production, transportation, and installation. In contrast, natural grass provides numerous environmental benefits such as supporting animal and plant life and producing oxygen. To create a more sustainable living space and reduce your environmental impact, explore eco-conscious flooring options like Tapi's TreadKindly range which features sustainable materials and manufacturing processes for inside your home.

You might want to create a little seating area too, so that you can enjoy watching all the local butterflies dancing among the flowers, and keep your eyes peeled for your favourite types of birds. A garden bench can easily be made from leftover wooden pallets or an outdoor dining area can be made from your favourite camping chair and an old crate. There are lots of ways you can get creative on a budget when creating a wildlife garden!  

Top five ideas for creating a wildlife garden

Here are our top ideas you can use to create your own wildlife garden in your neighbourhood:

  1. Plant flowers that the bees will love. Attracting bees is the best way to ensure that your wildlife garden comes back year after year. We suggest bellflowers, peonies, daisies, and lovely lavender as they’re all native plants rich in nectar that the bees will love. They’ll be sure to keep coming back again and again when they find a good nectar source!
  2. Plant a variety of flowers that will grow all year round. I’s not just the spring and summertime when animals are looking for sustenance! Fruit trees will produce plenty of flowers and fruit for insects and animals alike, and rotting fruit that falls off the trees and bushes will turn into great mulch for the soil to remain full of nutrients for insects to munch on.
  3. Set up feeders and shelters – there are lots of different types of bird feed you can get depending on the type of birds you want to attract, from goldfinches to blue jays, but if squirrels tend to bully them away from bird feed you put out, you can purchase squirrel-proof bird feeders from your local garden centre.
  4. Transform your lawn into a meadow. A manicured lawn doesn’t really do much to attract local wildlife. You can turn your lawn into a meadow that the local animals and plants will love with time, patience, and plenty of seed mixes.
  5. Create a compost heap – taking your natural food waste and using it to create compost will attract a huge number of animals and insects to your garden, in particular the gardener’s favourite, worms! They’ll turn your food waste into mulch, which can be used on different parts of your garden to provide it with nutrients and better drainage.
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Planning a wildlife garden

When you’re beginning to plan what you’d like your wildlife garden to look like, and what creatures you want to encourage most, you can explore the internet for different ideas for your wildlife garden design, but here are some of our top ideas.

Wildlife garden design ideas

  • Create different areas for different creatures – shyer animals that only come out at night won’t come close to the house, whereas passing insects like bumblebees and butterflies will be more than happy to flutter around window boxes and wall-climbing plants.
  • You can create a colour palette for your wildlife garden, such as pinks and purples, or opt for a rainbow of colours to attract all the pollinating insects that are looking for a place to eat and rest.
  • If you like to keep a close eye on how your garden is progressing, don’t forget to make some space for a path to let you through – this doesn’t have to be a stone path or anything expensive – you can just cut a path using shears and lawnmower through your grass to keep it natural!
  • Different animals enjoy different plants, and if you want to ensure next door’s cat isn’t chasing away all the fluffy creatures you want to attract, it’s worth looking up what plants will keep the cats away, so the mice and birds can play!
  • Wildlife will greatly benefit from even a small section of your garden left to grow naturally, like a spot hidden at the back of your garden, or even just leaving a pile of logs for animals to explore and make into their home.

If you’ve ever wondered how to attract wildlife to your garden, hopefully you now have a plan of action to help you achieve it! We’ve got plenty more lifestyle advice and design ideas for spaces in your home and garden, including tips on how to host a garden party, and how to lay your artificial grass on concrete.

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Published: 06-03-2023