Posted: 10/05/2012 at 22:38
Last autumn I had two swift experts come over to advise me on setting up suitable nesting sites as we have a brick barn, soon to be converted to accommodation, and I wanted to be sure I would be evicting no-one. Both seemed to think the only way to attract wildlife such as birds, bees and other good insects was to grow native weeds. However, a tour of my garden showed them sedum sepctabile heaving with insects including 4 different bees on one flower head, insects buzzing all over the echinops and late aconitums and my 5 pallet insect hotel stuffed with layers of straw, hay, pine cones, hollow canes and holey bricks and with a sedum and house leek roof garden had them speechless with wonder.
We also have trees, shrubs, log piles and an unlined pond with marginal irises and marsh marigolds and rodgersias plus lots of other nectar rich plants in the garden. You don't have to adopt the gardening equivalent of sackcloth and ashes to attract wildlife all year round. Just as well, as our soil is far too fertile for meadow wildflowers to compete with grasses.