Garden Wildlife Week

This week we are celebrating Garden Wildlife! There are few more hardworking insects than the humble ladybird. They eat aphids at every point in their life cycle, but many won’t recognise the vital pupa stage in the picture – just before adulthood. Help ladybirds (and lots of butterflies) by allowing a few nettles to grow in a corner.

It’s around now that you might be surprised and a little freaked out by a dense nest of wriggling black and yellow dots encased in webbing. They might be a little unnerving, but they are actually vital allies against pests of all types when they grow into garden spiders like the one in the picture.

Bats used to be unfairly maligned, but now everyone loves a bat – don’t they? I certainly do, and wanted to encourage these voracious insect-eaters into my garden with a bat box from the RSPB. It’s nestled up in the eaves of my house, just waiting for inhabitants – fingers crossed!

Honey bees are absolutely vital pollinators in our gardens – in fact, no bees would mean very few plants, and a food crisis we definitely don’t want. Encourage bees by planting a variety of flower forms in the garden, including open flowers and early and late flowering plants for hungry bees at each end of the season.

Once common, these charming garden visitors are terrifyingly rare, and threatened with extinction. Help our spiky hedgehog friends by leaving spaces at the base of walls and fences, and placing dry cat food in a safe place. You could even put a hedgehog house in a sheltered corner and see if you get a resident or two!

Thanks for reading

Kate

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