One of the areas that I was always keen to add to my garden when I started redesigning it was a Wildlife Garden. I wanted to create a little area to entice insects and creatures into the garden, so that Boo and Little Man could learn about them with me and enjoy checking out their habitats and identifying them. I also wanted to make a little haven for butterflies and bees, as I think we need to do that in our gardens, and because selfishly, I love to see them!
I set out to make it as simple as possible, so I’m thinking this can be something most people can replicate if they want to give a small area of their garden over to this, too.
Firstly, I had to choose where to put it. I’ve opted for a small patch behind my cut flowers section, as it’s a little bit hidden away if you look out the window, so needn’t be visually appealing (though I like it anyway!), and it’s right next to a buddleia which always brings the butterflies in, so it felt like a nice addition to the area.
I used some stones to section off a little area, and then got to building my bug hotel, with bricks that we fortunately already had..
Having created a basic structure, I cut up a few canes (you can usually pick up a pack of 10 from pound shops) and popped them into some of the holes, along with a using a couple of small pots in some gaps, too. I then couldn’t resist putting soil on the top and adding an aquilegia up there to pretty it up a little on the roof!
Around the back, I planted some butterfly weed and lavender, as both are great for attracting butterflies and bees and should smell and look good, too.
I then found a nice old pot that I thought would be perfect for a little toad shelter, so half dug that one into the ground…
I really wanted a water area, but am wary of ponds with the children, and having come from a family where we seemed to spend many a summer digging out new ponds or cleaning them out, the maintenance and effort put me off! That was, until I found this little beauty…
A pop up pond in a box! Sold! You literally just pop it out into shape, put it where you want it and add water.
And so it is ready!
It needs a little time to all mature now, and get that pretty overgrown look. The butterfly weed will of course grow, as will the lavender at the back, and I think I’ll add a couple more of those to make a natural hedge round there, too. I’m popping to get a few water plants this weekend, so my pond will look a bit wilder, and be more inviting. I thought it was all so simple to do, and we now have a space devoted to wildlife that the kids and I can spend time checking on and chatting about. I’ve already spotted a web in the bug hotel, so it does have it’s first resident!
What do you think? Something you could add to your garden?