During these tough times we are all going to be doing our bit by staying home and spending more time in our gardens and hopefully enjoying the wildlife that we share it with.
At Wild by Design we are embracing the ‘make do and mend’ spirit! With Garden Centres and Nurseries closed, many of us are finding our normal garden products difficult to find despite having the time and motivation to get cracking in the garden. Here are some handy tips to keep your garden flourishing and attracting wildlife!
Our first tip is to compost your own waste. Find a quiet or corner of your garden to hide your heap from view. We construct our heaps by wiring pallets together. These may be difficult to find in the current climate. All you need is a structure that will allow water to drain through whilst holding together your fruit and vegetable waste as well as any green waste from the garden. Not only will you be producing your own compost for the garden, compost heaps provide a fantastic habitat for insects, small mammals and reptiles. The eggs shown in the picture are that of a Grass snake and they were found on the Wild by Design allotment compost heap in Bookham. Grass snakes are Great Britain’s only egg laying snake. All of our other native reptiles other than Sand Lizards are ovoviviparous. This means that the females incubate fertilised eggs inside their bodies and give birth to live young.
Our second tip is to save your coffee grounds. They are fantastic for mulching acid loving plants such as Primrose, Camelia, Rhododendron, Blueberry Bushes, Azalea, Sweetcorn, Hydrangeas and many more! Simply empty your coffee grounds around the base of your bush or plant to act as a replacement for ericaceous compost, something that is currently hard to get hold of. This will keep your plants flowering or producing more whilst also helping with its long-term development. More flowers and fruit are sure to bring in the wildlife!
If you have space somewhere in your garden you can create a hibernation station then close to the pond is best, but anywhere will do. This can be created from waste such as logs, branches, old pallets, twigs and leaves. Having somewhere for the newts, frogs and toads to hibernate over winter will encourage them to breed in your pond the following year and hopefully continue to do so year after year.
Our third tip is to have a Banana! When you’re done make sure you throw your peel at the base of a Rose. Banana skins are full of potassium an essential ingredient for healthy roses. Whilst your roses won’t survive on banana alone, putting banana skin around the base of your roses will help to fix potassium into the ground. Roses are a fantastic way to attract pollinating insects and they are Great Britain’s favourite flower. Chopped up skins work best as they break down quicker but if you don’t have a knife handy then the whole thing is also good.
Throughout the Covid crisis Wild by Design Landscapes are publishing a series of educational, wildlife related work sheets to teach kids about their gardens creatures and to give parents a much-needed break.