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If you’re looking to bring wildlife into your garden but worried about the size of your plot, there are still many ways you can attract fun critters. With a few tips and tricks, you can create a mini haven for all sorts of creatures, from bees to birds to beasts. These tips are all eco-friendly advice as well, making the most of sustainable and repurposed materials. If you’re creative enough, you can introduce more wild visitors however small your space. Here are ten sustainable ways to bring wildlife into a small garden.
Firstly, when doing any gardening try to be a more responsible consumer when you go to the garden centre. Think about the origin of the plants, tools and accessories you buy. Certain plants are imported, so you might want to check if they’ve been ethically sourced. Do your research and find out which plants will benefit your local environment and which could potentially be harmful.
Native plants will be better for your garden and local wildlife. Have a chat with the staff at your nearest garden centre and see what they recommend as the most sustainable option. Avoid peat-based products and harmful pest protection.
A patch of long grass
It’s a good idea to keep an area untidy. Even if it’s small, a patch of long grass will always be appealing for different types of wildlife. If you’re wondering which grass seed is best for you, look here for more information. Mix in some wildlife-friendly plants and create a little paradise for insects and small animals.
One of the easiest ways to create a sustainable garden is by making your own compost. The size of the garden isn’t important. You can use kitchen and garden waste together to enrich your soil and fill your pots. Look for small boxes or used wooden pallets which are perfect for storing mini compost heaps. This also creates a great home for grubs and insects.
Build an insect hotel
Old wooden pallets and wood make perfect little homes for bees and insects. This a great fun project for the summer. Here are some instructions on how to make a bee hotel from wooden pallets. It’s simple and easy to do, and you’ll bring in the bees to help pollinate your garden.
Bring those beneficial bugs into your garden with chipped pots, bricks, along with straw and twigs to create cosy homes for them. An old box or wooden wine crate makes a great hedgehog house as well. Fill it with hay or straw and leave it in a quiet, secluded place in the garden. Kept it half-covered with branches and leaves.
There are plenty of ways you can upcycle old household items and material to make homes for wildlife. Provide a haven for the local wildlife with these recycled retreats.
Use vertical space
When building homes and feeders for wildlife be sure to make use of vertical space. You can hang up your insect hotel, or fix wall-mounted planters. Fill them with pollen-rich flowers to entice more bees and butterflies. Climbers will also attract bees and other insects. For further inspiration, here are some more tips on vertical gardening.
Leave out food
The best way to attract wildlife is by offering them something to eat. For birds and small animals such as hedgehogs, this is a great way to get rid of some leftovers. If you want to attract more bees, plant more pollen-rich treats. You could even make a butterfly feeder from a suspended recycled bottle filled with sugar water. Make the most of your vertical space by suspending feeders and planters.
If you’re unsure of what type of food to leave birds or hedgehogs, for example, you can find out more information about feeding wildlife. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to interfere with their natural feeding habits. Make sure you’re filling your feeders with safe ingredients as well.
Create a mini pond
Your wildlife visitors will appreciate a bit of water. Even if your garden is small, if you’re creative enough you can still provide this. If you don’t have space to dig out a pond, you can create one using the magic of upcycling. Make a makeshift pond using an old bucket, sink, or bath and surround it with stones and branches to make it more accessible. Even a layer of pebbles in the base of a washing up bowl would suffice. You’ll need to add some pond plants to keep the water from getting stagnant.
A birdbath is not only an ideal way to attract birds, but it’s also a source of water for other animals. It’s a good idea to have some water in your garden, even if you don’t have much space. A more sustainable option is to make your own suspended birdbath using a recycled plate or bowl. This is just one of many eco-friendly DIY birdbath ideas.
Replace fences with hedges
Hedges act as wildlife corridors. They give animals cover allowing them to pass through into your garden, whereas solid fences might block them completely. Where possible, plant a hedge as a border around your small garden. Flowering hedges also provide sustenance for birds and insects such as berries and pollen.
Create access and shelter
Find as many ways as you can to create access to wildlife. This might include leaving very small gaps in the fence or hedges. Think about ways different animals will be able to climb if not. Recycle old piping to attach climber plants to your vertical garden.
Ensure some areas of your garden provide shelter for wildlife. This can include logs or even a rock garden. These make perfect additions for grubs and critters. You can even build a small home for hedgehogs or hang up a birdhouse.
Be creative with space and make your garden wildlife-friendly this year. Summer and autumn are the perfect seasons for wildlife watching. The transition into next season will see many more visitors.