Friday, March 21, 2014

3 Ways to Make Your Garden a Paradise for Wildlife: Guest Post


This is a guest post contributed by Ricky Peterson from www.swallowaquatics.co.uk. Thanks for reading and please enjoy the post!
One of the greatest gifts of our planet is the abundance of life that surrounds us, from the smallest insect to the mighty blue whale. While you're unlikely to see the latter in your back garden, there are lots of things you can do to make your yard more attractive to our feathered,furry and many-legged friends. Here are the essentials that every nature lover should offer in their garden!
Gimme shelter
Firstly, if you want to attract animals to your garden, you should really offer them somewhere to stay. If you put up a birdhouse in springtime you may see it inhabited by the summer months, and bee houses are a great way to encourage our stripy friends to give your garden some loving. Feeling crafty? Check out this tutorial on how to build your own birdhouse.
Image credit: See-ming Lee

However, there are animal shelters that require even less effort. Simply letting a patch of your lawn grow long, and laying some logs in a corner of your yard will attract insects and provide them with a suitable habitat. We can't think of a better excuse not to rake up those leaves...

Dining companions
Image credit: Marcus Ward
As well as a roof over their heads, your feathered and furry friends are going to need some sustenance, so offering a bite to eat will work wonders in attracting them to your garden. Here are a few types of food that will serve as a treat in attracting certain birds and animals:
  • Mealworms – house sparrow and shrews
  • Peanuts – great spotted woodpecker and badger
  • Fat balls – blue tit and great tit
  • Nyjer seed – siskin and goldfinch
  • Sunflower hearts – bullfinch
  • Dog food – hedgehog
  • Root vegetables – deer
Check out some more ideas on suitable foods here

Bath time!
Installing a pond will wildly expand the range of wildlife you'll attract. As well as the amphibians and insects who will find the perfect home in its watery depths, and of course the fish you may want to introduce, birds will be able to drink the water and use it to bathe. This is a great tutorial on how to install your own pond.
Image credit: Andrew Rollinger
However, bumblebees will also need your help in getting a drink, as bird baths and ponds are too deep for them. A saucer of water with some rocks that the bees can use as a drinking platform should do the trick. Find out more about how to help bees here.

While gardens can naturally provide an abundance of seeds, insects and fruiting plants for sustaining wildlife, nature lovers can also provide additional nutritional resources for in times of stress when food and water are scarce.  Creating a wildlife friendly garden can be as simple as providing the basic essentials of shelter, food and water for your feathered and furry friends.  Doing so will encourage local wildlife to visit and frequent your gardens. 


Much thanks to our guest poster Ricky Peterson.
As Always...Happy Gardening!

Copyright 2014, Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening.  All Rights reserved.




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17 comments:

  1. I so agree with Ricky's first sentence. All the life that surrounds us makes us that much more fortunate. One thing listed that I have yet to add is mealworms. And this year I plan to for the nesting birds. I think many birds eat them besides the sparrows.

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    1. The mealworms are a good idea and I think the birds would love them. I am glad you enjoyed the post. I am trying to branch out and get some different topics for discussion and Ricky's post looked informative for my readers.

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  2. Such a wonderful post! And how very inspiring for bringing in and supporting the wildlife in all of our gardens! A happy weekend to you friend and thank you for sharing Ricky's ideas with us! Nicole

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the post Nicole. With a lot more gardeners paying attention to attracting local wildlife I felt this was a very informative post from Ricky and it was nice to have a guest aboard!

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  3. I enjoyed this post, thanks to Rick - and it tapped into a few things I have been wondering about for my own garden as my garden is so small and difficult to accommodate everything I would like to have there. I also have thought about buying mealworms as I have a lot of sparrows around but they are not that interested in the sunflower seeds I have in the feeder – the seeds are mainly eaten by the squirrels. I would love to have a pond for the wildlife but have had to settle for a birdbath – you should see the magpies as they queue up in the morning to have a bath, it is absolutely hilarious, and the last one in never get a proper wash as all the water will have been splashed out by then! I must try to film it one day, but I have to be outside to be near enough to film it and having me there is a bit too scary for the birds. I have got a few photos through the window though :-)

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    1. Hi Helene. I enjoyed your response and am so glad you found this information to be useful! I would love to see the photos of the magpies at the birdbath. I get so much enjoyment watching the birds and squirrels from my window each day. In the morning there is a line up of robins, doves, chickadees, cardinals and blue jays for a bath with water splashing everywhere as they take turns. I have thought of trying to get photos as well and will have to try skillfully so not to scare my visitors. I also have to refill the birdbath some days when they are done for practically all the water will be splashed out!

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    2. Hi again, I haven’t got any good photos from this year, but I put some of the magpies in the birdbath in this post from May last year:
      http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-sweetest-mice-for-garden.html
      The photos are at the very end.

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    3. Thanks for sharing the link Helene. Your photographs are wonderful! We don't have that type of bird around here and they look pretty large. I can see why all the water would be out of the birdbath and it looks like they are enjoying it!

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  4. Seeing all those birdhouses clustered together makes me wonder if the telephone company would mind if I decorated their ugly pole, right in the middle of my garden, that way!

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    1. Deb-I loved your comment! It is a clever idea...and would camouflage the pole. We planted a row of large evergreens to mask our telephone pole and wires so we can't see them. Fortunately it is at the very back of the yard.

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  5. Amei conhecer o seu blog,achei maravilhoso.Visite-me:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

    Obrigada.

    Beijos Marie.

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting and for your nice comment. I will be sure to drop by your blog. Have a great day!

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  6. Lots of great information here! I need to remember to get some saucers with rocks out for the bees. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. I am glad you found the information to be useful. Hopefully it will be warm enough soon for the bees to start pollinating all those flowers! Thank you for visiting!

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  7. Olá amiga,vim retribuir sua carinhosa visita ao meu cantinho.
    Fiquei feliz com sua doce presença!!! Obrigada!!!
    Beijos Marie.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Marie and leaving a comment. I loved your autumn photos. It is so nice to be able to view different seasons from around the world as we enter into spring here!

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  8. Thank you for all of the lovely pictures and updates. I absolutely love your garden - orderly beauty!


    Patios Norfolk & Landscape Gardener Norwich

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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