By March, the days are longer, the birdsong is louder, and there’s a good chance there’s some frogspawn – or even toadspawn – in your pond. Gradually the garden grows more colourful as leaves and flowers burst from their buds, and the hum of bees becomes steadier as the first bumblebees are joined by honeybees and solitary mining and flower bees.
It feels good, doesn’t it? Continue keeping an eye out for hedgehogs and leave food out for them as well as hungry birds. It’s still a few weeks to breeding season and natural sources of food are dangerously low.
How to help wildlife in your garden
- 10 plants for butterflies
- Wildlife-friendly plants for shade
- Alan Titchmarsh's tips on creating a wildlife-friendly garden
- How to create a mini wildlife pond
Look out for hoverflies on sunny days
Hoverflies, such as the tapered drone fly Eristalis pertinax, is on the wing on sunny days. Look out for it on sunny spots such as fence panels and large stones. Discover the best flowers for attracting more hoverflies into your garden.
- Buy marigold from Crocus, Hayloft and Thompson & Morgan
- Buy fennel from Crocus and Thompson & Morgan
- Buy single-flowered dahlias from Crocus, Hayloft and Thompson & Morgan
Toads are laying their spawn
Toads spawn a couple of weeks later than frogs, typically in large ‘ancestral’ ponds they have been using for many years. Unlike frogs, toads lay their spawn in ribbons, which they wrap around submerged stems of pond plants.
Butterflies are emerging
On fine days you may spot your first butterfly of the year – this could be a butter-yellow brimstone butterfly, which hibernates as an adult beneath plant material such as ivy, or the more colourful red admiral or peacock. Remember that, as well as nectar-rich flowers, butterflies need plants to lay eggs on – in this case buckthorns for the brimstone and nettles for the red admiral and peacock. Find out more with our guides to the best seeds to sow for summer nectar and nectar-rich plants to grow.
Great tits and blue tits are nesting
Great tits and blue tits should have chosen their nest sites by now and may be roosting in them at night – however, it’s not too late to put up a bird box if you haven’t already. Some birds will relocate at the last minute and could take up residence with you. Find out more in our guide to the best bird nesting boxes and nest box cameras, or shop now via these quick links: