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, replacing it with paving or gravel, are denying insects and birds an opportunity to come into their gardens to feed. And personally, wildlife is always welcome in my garden.
, clouds and birds, and offers advice on the best plants to use for each style.Rooted box cuttingsOrnamental potHand shearsLoam-based compostall year roundabout an hourPot your cuttings up individually into 10cm pots, giving them a light initial trim
is to blame, with wild areas of farmland sacrificed for bigger yields. Bumblebees now have fewer nesting opportunities and flowers to feed from.Grow a range of flowering plants all year - especially from March to November when bees are most active - to provide
of the plant, attracting black sooty mould, which inhibits photosynthesis and deprives the plant of energy.Young tender growth is vulnerable to aphid attack. These tiny insects (1mm-7mm long) are usually green or black and breed fast, smothering the plant
'leatherjacket'. From autumn through to summer, the larvae feed on the roots of plants, eventually growing to 5cm in length before pupating and emerging as adult flies in late-summer.Grass growth slows down and yellow, dying patches appear in the lawn. Dead
2007 will be remembered as a very good year for wasps. But before people start complaining about their vicious stings and bad tempers, I must point out that wasps are actually our friends. After birds and spiders, they are the most important insect
and parasites.For the first few weeks they must forage alone, feeding the first batch of grubs through to maturity. If the queen dies, eaten by a bird, caught by mould, or trodden underfoot as she struggles to get airborne one cool March morning, the colony
windfalls to collect, so we can make some more juice.I’ll save a few apples for the birds - I’m happy to feed them, but I begrudge the wasps, which hollowed out far too many fruits in this year’s crop.
signs of diseases Apply a combined weed, feed and mosskiller to your lawnAround the gardenRemove suckers the stems of standard rosesTie tall border plants like delphiniums to their supportsFinish planting out dahlias, cannas and summer bedding
feedAlthough aphids suck plants sap, stunting growth, they are also a vital source of food for many beneficial insects and birds. Aphids love nettles, which you can grow as 'sacrificial' plants, saving valuable ornamentals. (The aphids might stunt