Butterfly feeding on Verbena bonariensis
Miscanthus, Geranium 'Johnson's Blue', Alliums & Echinacea
Poppy 'Patty's Plum'
natural predator control. Insects and other small invertebrates
can be your best friends when it comes to controlling pests in your
garden and vegetable patch. Planting annuals such as marigolds among
your vegetables will attract a wealth of beneficial insects, such
as ladybirds and hoverflies, which will eat aphids.
to avoid the use of chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilisers.
Almost all chemicals will kill plants and animals beyond those targeted.
Work with nature rather than against it.
for peat-free products when buying from your local garden centre.
Peat extraction is damaging a fragile wild habitat that cannot be
recreated so avoid using peat in the garden. Instead, make your
own compost from kitchen and garden waste.
a pond. Water bodies - even very small ones - are wonderful for
wildlife. If you are short of space try placing a container, such
as an old enamel or china sink, in your garden. Remember to add
a few stones at one end, so that frogs and toads can get out easily.
some native shrubs or trees. These will provide a source of food
and shelter for small mammals and birds.
plants that offer nectar and pollen. Go for old cottage garden plants,
and avoid those with complex flowers. Generally speaking, the more
complex or highly bred the flower, the less it will have to offer
bees, butterflies and other insects. Native plants will often be
better for insects but many exotic plants are good too.
bird food. The greater the choice of food you offer, the more species
you are likely to see. If you have a cat, put a bell on its collar
to alert birds.
a small pile of logs in the corner of your garden. Decaying logs
in a quiet shady corner will provide a home for a wide range of
insects and mammals, such as hedgehogs. Ideally, some of the logs
should be upright and partially buried in the earth.
a water butt to collect rainwater from house, shed and garage roofs.
This will reduce the consumption of mains water. Huge amounts of
energy are wasted on cleaning and transporting mains water and it
is often extracted from rivers at levels that threaten local wildlife.
the origin of any wood you buy for the garden. If you're not careful,
you may be unknowingly contributing to the destruction of tropical
rain forests. Wood products (including paper) with the Forest Stewardship
Council (FSC) label are from well-managed forests. For more information,
see their website at www.ic.fsc.org.