Tips for Attracting Birds and Wildlife to Your Garden
Although many gardeners are wary about wild animals becoming pests in their garden, it’s certainly possible to attract wildlife that can coexist with and occasionally visit your garden. Birds and other small animals can be fun to watch and they don’t necessarily have to be a threat to your plants or crops if the space is set up properly. Making your garden a haven for birds, bees, bugs, frogs, foxes, insects, hedgehogs and other critters isn’t that difficult, and with a few simple measures you can ensure that aggressive animals are hesitant to enter while the more symbiotic species are drawn in. With that said, here are a few tips you can use to make your garden a welcoming habitat:
1. Use Bird Feeders, Houses, and Baths
The first step in creating a wildlife-friendly garden should be providing food, water, and shelter for your visitors. Install a bird box/house somewhere out of reach of predators and be sure to keep feeders stocked with protein-rich food in the spring and seed food in the winter. It’s a good idea to place the feeder near dense bushes so that birds can easily fly in and out to take cover from cats and other predators. Study bird nutrition and the diets of any other creatures you’re trying to attract.
2. Install a Pond, Fountain, or Bird Bath
A properly placed bird bath, fountain, or pond will ensure that that the birds don’t have to go elsewhere to find water. Be sure to throw in a few twigs, lily pads, and stones to make it more hospitable for frogs and insects like dragonflies. Waterlilies will also help keep the water oxygenated, which prevents bacterial growth. Consider using a pump to prevent stagnation, and try to place the pond in a partly sunny, partly shady area. Don’t use chlorinated water; set up a system for collecting rainwater instead.
3. Plant Native Food Sources and Flowers
Research the native food sources that grow in your area and make an effort to surround your garden with them. Ivy and other climbing species provide good protective habitats and are great sources of pollen, so they’ll attract both birds and bees. Edible shrubs, grasses, evergreens, and fruit trees are also great for attracting furry and feathery friends. Some examples might include figs, blackberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, roses and clematis. Choose some pollinator-friendly plants like lavender and buddleia to attract more bees.
Ethical Considerations to Keep in Mind
Before making your garden more wildlife-friendly, it’s important to determine whether you’re presenting a risk to the animals by attracting them to your garden. If you live in an urban area or are aware that your garden is often frequented by predators, it might not be a great idea to lure wildlife into a potentially hazardous situation.
At Carpenter’s we stock a wide range of bird feeders, feeding stations, seeds and treats to keep your garden birds going throughout the year. We also stock wildlife attracting plants and flowers. Call in today and see for yourself!