Posted: 06/01/2013 at 21:20
If you want to attract wildlife it is good to have something in flower throughout the year. Shrubs which flower, produce berries and cover for wildlife tick more boxes and therefore should, imo be given priority. However plant for yourself too....something that is lovely to look at, smell etc. Some I wouldn't be without for me and wildlife - Lonicera fragrantissima has just started flowering, I saw a bee on it today and it smells wonderful, gives cover in summer and I grow a clematis through it in the summer; Berberis. lots of different types but i love Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Atropurpurea Nana' AGM - flowers and berries; Pyracantha - flowers, berries and cover - great grown up against a wall.
Just for me (not specifically for wildlife) Camellia, Nandina domestica, Callicarpa bodinieri var.giraldii ‘Profusion’ .... I could go on but at this time of year I am so glad of my winter jasmine, mahonia, clematis 'freckles' and honeysuckle to lift my spirits and am watching for snowdrops, daffs, primroses to follow on.... and the days are getting longer.
Enjoy your planning and I hope you will soon be enjoying the fruits of your labours.