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Wildlife garden

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We are planning to use half of our plot as a garden area with a lawn and a wildlife type area with wildflowers and shrubs and stuff growing there.

Has anyone got any advise as to what we should grow there and how to go about creating such an area.  I have a picture in my mind of what we want to achieve but just not sure as to how to go about it.



I'm developing a wildlife garden, so have read up a lot about this. I'm going for mostly native species as they are easier as the conditions will be right and there are many animals and insects that depend on specific plants, so you will be helping them.

Do you have space for a small pond? Or even a bird bath? water is essential. Make sure if it's a birdbath that there is nowhere near it for cats to hide behind. If you build a pond - make sure you have a gentle slope down to it so animals have easy access to it and can climb out easily if they fall in.

For shrubs - choose native british ones, preferably with berries for winter bird food. Climbers also offer good cover and if on a north-facing wall, put in a few bird boxes, and bird feeders (as long as it's not accessible to cats and squirrels). Birds like the cover of shrubs or climbers where they feed. Buddleiha is the obvious choice for butterflies.

You can also buy or make boxes/homes for beneficial insects. Or a log pile is great - allows insects and frogs space to hide as they gradually rot down.

I've found the following website very useful for research on wild flowers and ordering plants/seeds

And on you can look at what plants naturally grow in your area.

To make it look 'natural' stick to asymmetric, sweeping curves. No straight lines. Don't be too tidy - insects and small animals like having dead leaves, etc around for nesting and hiding. Don't use chemicals! Most native plants prefer poor soil, so don't add any fertiliser (makes the gardener's life a lot easier!)

My bible is The Daily Telegraph's Wildlife Garden book.

Thanks for the links.

The postcode planter link is fantastic, should give me all I need.

Not keen on ponds (cos we have 2 little very nosey girls)  birdbath and boxes and feeders will definately be there.


Ragged Robin:
Hi Les
I too had a nosey 4yr old when i created our "pond", (she's now 7); we created our pond using an 14" plastic planter which was only about !0" deep which we burid in the border, we put in a basket with a flowering rush, lots of pebbles on top of basket to allow in and outings. It became home to the garden frogs quite quickly, last year we had spawn for the 1st time, its now self cleaning with lots of pond weed. Water snails and pond skaters are in residence and had many visits from dragonflies last year. Littl'un has had much enjoyment from its presence, and knows to be careful aroun it, well worth the effort.

Just another thought, would a half barrel be a useful alternative as raised off the ground, and less likely for little peeps to fall in.

Doesn't have to be big to get the benefit of water in the garden.


Thats a great idea I never thought of raising the pond.  

Would the likes of frogs still use it or would you need to build up the surrounding area for easy acces and egress.

At the moment we have inherited a bath (thoughtfully left behind by the previousowner) which is actually partly sunken and obviously filled with water and rotting leaves.

I think we'll maybe utilise this now in light of your idea and move to where our little wildlife garden will be.

I'd like to keep the water as shallow as possible for safety reasons, do you know if there is an minimum depth for pond plants to grow in?



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