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in Wildlife gardening
Hoping for a bit of a recommendation here....
Up on the allotment the area at the back of my shed has become a typical dumping ground and I've started to tidy this up now. The whole site is extremely rich in wildlife (including lots of fieldmice which happily share my crops!) but I'm hoping to improve my little corner even more.
At the moment I've run a bed along the back and planted a dwarf buddleia and a native honeysuckle with a few extras I'm planning to put in later such as lenten rose and primroses maybe.
I also want to plant something that will climb along the side of the shed. I want something that offers good winter cover, flowers and berries etc and that birds may be tempted to nest in, even if it's using nestboxes or pouches that I can fasten to the trellis. That side is quiet so hoping to attract nesters!
ivy is the obvious choice, but my only concern is it will grow straight through the gaps in my shed wall- being a typically cheap wooden shed theres lots of gaps where the wood slats have warped. Others I have considered are cotoneaster and pyracantha mainly because the birds seem to adore these back home
What do people think, which should I plant?
thanks for any tips
You could try a potato vine (solanum). They have blue or white flowers and eventually berries. I have a white one that seems to be in flower all year round, attracts bees and butterflies. You could have some evergreen clematis, or a rambling rector rose.
On a different note, I currently have a woodpigeon bathing in the birdbath while it is also pouring down.
I think pyracantha would be fabulous, seems easy to train and the birds will love the berries.
My first thought to meet your criteria is pyracantha cadrou. It's a nice red one, more compact than the other, flowers and fruits well and the birds will love it for many reasons. It's also dead easy to grow from cuttings. I can't think of a native that does the same job and you're right, ivy WILL grow into your shed. I know from experience.
Cotoneaster and Pyracantha would be my suggestions. They need very little attention, grow well in most soils and locations, and don't suffer from many ailments. They give good cover for all sorts of wildlife and the berries are a great food source for birds.
Trouble with ivy also is it tends to trap moisture and rot your shed faster.
Think I will go for the pyracantha, will add it to my shopping list (currently full of pondside and groundcover plants for around the new wildlife pond...) and might try taking some cuttings from the one in the back garden too.
The solanum looks lovely but think it may get a bit big on the side of my shed, could probably squeeze one in against the back fence at home tho!
Nicola, solanum is easily pruned in spring. I grow album the white one and it flowers forever here. Lovely,thing when smothered in bloom. Only thing against pyracantha is it's viciousness. It's thorns are long and dangerous. Not a nice thing to bump into or brush against. Another honeysuckle, jasmine, solanum or clemaris montana there for me.
I have P. Cadrou, yes it has some thorns but it is precicely for those thorns that the small birds will love it. Solanum are poisonous don't forget.You can use Pyracantha berries for hedgerow jelly as an added bonus, should the birds leave you any berries.