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Is anyone else quite excited by the new wildlife garden that Monty said he's going to develop in GW this week?  I'm trying to turn my garden into one so will be looking for hints and tips.  It seems a good sized garden too - not too big to be unrealistic for most gardeners.  Although I don't think I'll be planting an oak tree in my modest town plot.

Gardens like fashions change over the years. Monty bless him admitted that area has lain dormant for a long time, it probably came as a good idea to keep the programme rolling, if we all had acres of garden then we could all do it.

My way is to put insect blocks around under bushes, leave the odd pile of brush in a hidden corner and make sure my hedgehogs can get under the cabin. The pond is a small urn with a pump and couple of plants. Bird tables and water baths for the birds, all small though the effort is being made though I do ask myself why. Living on the edge of fields dropping to a stream and a small wood in view,  the wild life does its own thing around here. Still if the spirit is willing why not.

Frank.

Im looking forward to seeing the progress of Montys new garden too, im probably somewhere inbetween a wildlife garden and what Frank does, but living in a more built up area, i think its important to at least try to provide homes and food for wildlife
GemmaJF

Important in rural areas too particularly if it is intensive arable farming. Changes in farming practice has seen loss of habitat on a large scale particularly for the sometimes less obvious wildlife such as shrews, voles, newts, frogs and snakes. Insects too don't fair well with widespread use of insecticides. 

A wildlife garden need not be huge at all. Much of my professional work involves creating habitat in ever decreasing spaces to keep the animals going, but on an industrial type scale. One can do exactly the same scaled down in a small patch of the garden too though. 

 

nutcutlet

I think our agricultural desert is more sterile than an urban area. Sprayers are dumping something on the soil every week. I know it's not all insecticides but none of it is likely to be beneficial to wildlife or my efforts to support it.

I try and maintain the whole site for wildlife. Occasionally I curse a stray rabbit or muntjac, when they nip off the hellebore heads or eat a newly planted shrub, but mostly we rub along OK.

Bees are buzzing today

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Hostafan1

my whole garden has wildlife in mind, not just part of it. Sounds like MD is jumping onto a bandwagon.

If it inspires others to even think about wildlife, then thats got to be a good thing, i wonder if he will be happy to encourage all wildlife, most seem to conveniently forget that so called pests have their place too.

Theres plenty of deserts in the suburbs too, my inlaws didnt have a single plant in their garden til i moved in! Lots of the neighbours are the same, and so many seem to be terrified of trees...grrrrr! If they see anything crawly its instantly stamped on!
Hostafan1

he's lived there for years, why has it taken him so long? or am I just being cynical?

Yviestevie

I would imagine that a lot of his garden already supports wildlife. He probably doesn't need a particulary space for this. I expect he is doing it to show people what can be done in a small size plot.  Whatever he does he gets a lot of criticism so he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

 

GemmaJF

Or perhaps not Hostafan, I started on the wildlife garden here the week I moved in. I could not stand to see a lifeless garden, so I could be a little cynical that somebody decides to do it for the cameras too. 

There is a bandwagon at the moment around the whole thing with wildlife gardening.

Some of it overlooks that it can be a lot of fun, fairly instant and very unconventional.

I think it is difficult to really define what it is and many gardeners have gardened with wildlife in mind for many years and probably wonder what the fuss is about.

My view is it is about habitat creation on whatever scale. Providing exactly what a varied group of species require that might be missing locally, sometimes in a very small space. That is my take on it. So that could range from planting flowers for bees right through to pond construction or building a large hibernation bank for reptiles. Planting trees and hedges for birds, or just simply providing food for them. Making a bug hotel. Anything goes really.

I'll watch Monty's progress with interest. 

scroggin
Any ideas that Monty can give to us the general public should be applauded. Many gardens are still very sterile habitats, so if his project encourages a few sceptics then I'm all in favour. I am blessed with a healthy population of slowworms on the allotment, such beautiful creatures it brightens any day.
Most people on our patch leave areas to go wild, evenpn the pristine ones and that I think is in no small part thanks to programmes such as GW.
GemmaJF

Leaving a few rough patches is something everyone could do tomorrow, it is less work to do too. Something to think about is what we might take as a model for wildlife gardening. I think a lot of the time wildflower meadows and lake like ponds come to mind. In my own work I find much higher numbers and variety of animals at industrial brownfield sites than I do at managed nature reserves. This inspired me to put old tyres in the garden for reptiles to bask on, make piles of pallets as bug hotels, leave out corrugated tins for things to hide under. All simple, free and highly effective.  wildlife did much better before people got obsessed with tidying! No need to worry about finding a ton of old bricks when clearing the garden either. Pile them up and cap with soil dug out to form a pond to make a hibernation bank. Great wildlife habitat is very three dimensional. There is stuff going on below the soil level, there are things piled on top of it. That is the key to habitat creation and the way to get a lot of diverse wildlife to thrive.

Morning Guys I was a bit intrigued by Montys wildlife area o.k.it's a work in progress but I would die for such a nice clear patch. (I still love ya Monty & Nigel) Mine is a"Cottage " garden (uh hum)  with wildlife reserves around the edges,and possibly in the heart of it as well (NO!! It's not messy it's all well planned)

Yes Gemma it takes no time at all and not hard work just enjoyment  

Fishy65

As Bill Oddie once said on springwatch...'say yes to mess'  

nutcutlet

Thank goodness for that Fishy

Mess is something I'll never be short of

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Pottie Pam

I hope Monty was going to pile the tree prunnings in a corner for the wildlife.

 

Fishy65

 Nut...me too. I've a great big heap of cuttings,prunings etc under the flowering redcurrant.

I'm all for a bit of mess at the back of a border or under shrubs, that's where the little critters tend too hide. The only thing is in most of gardens I tend to on a precessional basis, the clients want everything tidied up, even to the point where every leaf is blown out and raked up and removed! Mine on the other hand has a pile of oak logs that have been sitting for 2 years awaiting the chainsaw and axe, when ever I move one I find either a frog or a mouse nest! Only problem it's sitting on my decking and I'm sure the BBQ will need too come out of hibernation within a month or two

nutcutlet


a mature log pile, I add more occasionally

Jimmy Crawford

Not a huge fan of tidy gardens, too much work!

 

I've got two compost bins with a heap of twigs and split branches dumped down the back. Several piles of stones and a big chunk of lawn that i've let run tussocky. Add into that, the wildlife hedges ad nectar rich plants and I'm fairly happy. Could always be better though.