Those of us with fabulous gardens owe Mother Nature a debt of gratitude. In particular, we owe insects and fauna the greatest appreciation because without them, our gardens probably wouldn’t exist at the standard they do. This is because insects helps to pollinate flowers and fauna helps to control the delicate eco system that lives right under our noses.
But, as hundreds of thousands of new homes across the UK are planned, this could have a catastrophic effect on that eco system. And it’s not just building of new houses either that threaten our little friends. As more and more people rely on a car for their daily form of transportation, the country is finding a problem accommodating all these vehicles. Those of you reading this who were brought up in the 1970’s, and 1980’s will recall that there were a lot less cars on the road, and parked in the street than in present day. But, with some families having 3 or more cars (as children are also staying living at home for longer than before as well because of house prices) parked outside, home owners are also paving and concreting over front gardens to create additional off street parking.
It’s therefore important that we help give something back to the environment, wherever we can. Here are our top 10 tips that needn’t cost you the earth:
1/ Instead of concreting or paving over front gardens to make way for parking, use mesh grid paving instead. This allows vegetation to grow through, it looks more attractive than bland concrete, and it also aids better drainage (it’s also a lot cheaper than paving or concrete)
2/ Leave some areas of grass ‘uncut’ each season. This allows smaller insects to thrive in greater safety. Better still; why not create a wild meadow? This can have a dramatic aesthetic impact if used on the edges or corners of a lawn.
3/ Add a bird box and bird feeders. This will encourage birds to not only visit your garden, but to come back year after year. Birds carry seeds and eat pests.
4/ Create a ‘stack of logs’. These allow insects and small vermin like shrews to have a place of shelter.
5/ Build a small pond…these are not only an attractive feature for your garden, but they also encourage the likes of frogs and toads…that are also great ‘slug controllers’!
6/ Plant plenty of colourful flowers; these will help attract wasps and pollinating bee’s.
7/ Make a ‘bug shelter’. These are really easily built (and are available for sale in some garden centres) using bamboo sticks, twigs and off cuts of timber
8/ Try to create areas of shade. Humidity levels, direct sunlight and heat will affect what insects and fauna are attracted to, and are able to survive in your garden.
9/ Cut back on pesticides. You may not necessarily be targeting insects, but some pesticides and poisons do not discriminate. There are also known dangers to family pets from some pesticides, and they can find their way back into our waterways and drains…
10/ Keep a compost heap…not only will you be organically supporting your gardens soil whilst saving landfill, but you will be surprised what wildlife can live in the compost heaps. A particular favourite of ours are slow worms!