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in Wildlife gardening
I am new to gardening but as a lover of wildlife i would like my new garden to be a haven for animals, could anyone tell me what trees or shrubs could attract birds such as such as blue tits
blue tits like to eat caterpillars, spiders and greenfly so just don't spray anything with chemicals or be too tidy!
thanks for the advice
We've had bluetits nesting in our garden this year - they've been hopping around in our perennials, honeysuckles, roses and clematis looking for aphids and I think they've found them all - we've certainly not seen many greenfly or blackfly
ah thats great been up early this morning building a bird box with the little one, shes loving it and hopefully see some birds soon
Hi richi - here's a direct link to a pdf which has lists of wildlife friendly plants:
Thanks il have a browse through it now
If you have room forr some small trees : Amelanchier Lamarkii or canadensis (not native )but good blossom; fruits the bairds eat in July; and great atumn foliage.
Small crab apples are great eg Golden Hornet
I grow redcurrant bushes and raspberries just for the birds ; good for poliinators as well.
thanks again for more great advice, i have a pretty large open space garden to work with so going to start filling some of that space
Siting your birdbox is important - lots of advice here http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/nestboxes/smallbirds/siting.aspx
It is really important that the box isn't in full sun as a box-full of baked nestlings is very sad.
Dont forget that fruiting trees have pretty blossom in the spring too.If you have lots of space you can plant a mini orchard. When I have too many apples, a few are stored, and the blackbirds love one thrown out on a cold winters morning. If you have fruit trees, you may get bullfinches, but losing a bit of blossom is worth it for the sight of them. Blackbirds love windfall apples.
I have tree bumble bees in two nesting boxes this year. I have had good pollination and expect a huge harvest of apples and pears and plums.
If you want wildlife in the garden all year round, they will also need food all year round.
1. provide supplementary feeding. Different birds like different feeds. I have great spotted woodpeckers which only feed off a pink fat block,
2. supply nest and cover sites away from cats.
3. a pond will give them somewhere to drink and provide sites for frogs toads and newts. Frog gangbang time will bring in herons loking for an easy feed. Dense planting nearby provides hidey holes for baby frogs etc. Frogs eat slugs. My hostas hardly have a hole in. I have millions of froglets at the moment. Dragonflies buzzing around the garden are lovely.
4 DONT use pesticide sprays. It will find a natural balance.
5 Dont be too tidy. Wildlife needs hibernation sites too.
Buy a good ID book. The more I look, the more wildlife I find. Don't be in a hurry, it builds up year after year. After 25 years in the same garden, I still get new species appearing.
richi what you're planning is great as we need to help our wildlife in any way we can. Fidget has outlined how wonderful it and rewarding it can be but even a few plants, some simple bird feeders and a birdbath makes a difference. A bug hotel and boxes for bees to nest are something you can do with your daughter too. Short pieces of cane enclosed in a frame and hung up in a sunny site provide somewhere for bees and it's not hard to do, and a similar thing for bugs and insects to overwinter- an open box frame (about the size of a large shoebox or bigger if you can) with different compartments of leaves, pieces of wood, pine/fir cones and short pieces of cane etc. I hope that makes sense
I'm sure if you google it you'll get lots of pictures.
again loads of good advice appreciate it all, made a border around some of the garden today and got a few things planted, going to our local nursary tomorrow to have a look at some trees already seeing a few different types of wildlife visiting
richi another thing which is nice to do with children is to get a few packets of hardy annuals and create a little bed which can be your daughter's own personal plot and let her sow the seeds next spring. Things which will grow easily and quickly - nasturtiums, nigella, larkspur etc They will attract lots of bees and other insects for very little time, money and effort. My girls loved doing that and it keeps their interest growing when they see something they've planted actually growing!
theres a lot of good advice there
my absolutely must have shrub for birds is Mahonia (varities like Charity) - scented yellow flowers in the winter are loved by the blue tits, and the berries in the spring are loved by the blackbirds - all that and you get an attractive shrub flowering at a time when not much else is, and scented - what more could you wish for?
sounds good il give that a try were expecting a baby in january so im going to plant a tree for him/her when its born a nice addition to the garden something for the family and for the wildlife
richi - really nice idea - trees should be used more to mark special occasions/anniversaries. A colleagues is due to give birth soon and I think that night make the perfect gift! Especially as she is green fingered! Back to your original questions... this website has some good advice. I use them a lot for their guides as it's not too much of an information overload - just enough information on everything.