Discover Wildlife Friendly Gardening
Many home owners across the UK have added decking or large patio areas to their gardens. This looks great, and it cuts down on the amount of lawn and garden requiring weekly attention particularly during the summer months.
But, our desire for maintenance free gardening has had an effect on wildlife particularly in the more built-up areas in towns and cities. Small creatures, which once thrived across the UK are becoming a rare siting. You can make a difference, though, by making your garden a wildlife-friendly haven. This will involve some fairly simple and common sense ideas depending on whether you are starting a new garden or have an established one. But, basically wildlife need water, food and somewhere safe to shelter and breed.
Provide as many habitats as possible with the space you have without cramming too much in. A lawn, trees and shrubs, flowers and a wildlife friendly garden pond are key habitats. Within these you can create smaller microhabitats.
Here are a few examples of what you can do to make your garden more wildlife friendly:
• Plant species of tree, shrub and flowering plants, which provide nectar, berries and other food sources through the year,
• Climbers grown against a wall will provide shelter and a breeding site for birds,
• A well-developed thorny hedge will provide nest sites and shelter for wildlife,
• Don’t get too fanatical about a tidy garden particularly during the autumn and winter months because a pile of fallen leaves may provide an ideal shelter to a hibernating hedgehog and insects,
• Dead wood provides shelter for beetles and other specialist beneficial insects, fungi and mosses.
• A garden pond with different depths is great for wildlife. Shallow areas are used by bathing and drinking birds, emerging dragonflies and somewhere for amphibians to lay eggs. Deeper areas help aquatic insects survive cold spells and are a place for newts swim.
Installing a Garden Pond
To attract wildlife you need to construct your pond in such a way that wildlife can survive in and around your pond. A pond constructed with shelves of varying water levels or at least one side of the pond having a gentle slope, will allow creatures to get in and out with ease. After laying down the pond liner it is important that you protect it from damage caused by birds beaks or animals claws, by adding an edging using paving stones, rocks or gravel around the edge of the pond. To create a safe place for wildlife to shelter, breed and forage, plant a diverse range of native plants in your pond and lots of leafy plants around the edge. Lay a pile of logs or branches in amongst the leafy plants to the edge of your pond. This will create a safe haven for frogs and toads. Also ensure that you make corridors amongst the vegetation for them to move about with ease and in safety. Frogs naturally find new ponds quickly so adapt your pond to offer the best conditions for them to live and breed in. Another amphibian likely to visit your pond, are Newts, which will arrive in early spring. They leave the pond in summer and will hide under logs and rocks on the waters edge. Newt tadpoles breathe under water until they are ready to leave the pond in late summer. From mid summer to the end of September you may spot dragonflies buzzing around hunting other insects. Other insects include the Pond skater, which skims across the water looking for insects that have fallen into the water. There are also beetles are various types, which will inhabit your pond. Hedgehogs are also attracted to ponds and may be seen at dusk as they go out in search of snails, slugs and earthworms. Small birds, such as greenfinches and blackbirds will also use a pond, which has gently sloping sides. They will come to the pond to drink and bath. Herons may even visit your pond to feed on any adult frogs that may have become complacent about their own safety. Dense planting on the edge of a pond and rocks in and around a pond will create a safe haven for frogs making it more of a challenge for herons to come to your pond in search of food. Try not to disturb the water in your pond or around the edges from late autumn to early spring so that any hibernating creates are not woken and frightened away. Any cleaning or mending of your pond liner should be done in early autumn. Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/gardening-articles/ About the Author
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