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Planting Gardens for Birds and Wildlife

Wildlife friendly plants can provide suitable nesting sites, areas for shelter and edible berries for birds and mammals, as well as flowers which will attract beneficial Insects. When creating your wildlife haven select plants and seeds based on the size of your garden and species you wish to attract. Provide Nest Boxes close by - the plants and seed will help attract Wildlife to your garden, and nest boxes will encourage them to stay.

Birds require food, cover and nesting sites to survive. Careful choice of plants and provision of other features such as ponds will help you to create a haven for wildlife in your garden.

The more varied you can make your garden, the better it will be for wildlife. Inclusion of shrubs, a hedge, climbers, and trees will create habitats to suit many different birds. Herbaceous plants and a lawn are other valuable features.

Choose a selection of shrubs and trees that provide insect food, and berries or fruit for as long period as possible.

Inclusion of thorny plants and some evergreens provide shelter and safe nesting sites. This page lists just some of the useful shrubs, trees and climbers for a wildlife garden. Due to limited space, growing conditions and flowering and fruiting periods are not given. These can be gleaned from many good gardening books.

Avoid planting non-native, invasive species that can cause a conservation problem if they spread into sensitive habitats. Non-native pond plants are a particular problem, as they can be moved into watercourses by birds, cats and dogs, travel many miles and may blanket large areas of water or riverbank. Never tip garden rubbish into a semi- natural habitat as the seeds can spread. Compost your green rubbish and take the rest to a local tip, where it can be disposed of properly.

Climbers and Shrubs

Shrubs and bushes create the perfect hideaways for birds and mammals alike. Planting varieties that have either nectar-rich flowers or tasty berries will help make your garden a haven for all types of wildlife. For example

Cotoneasters are a large group of shrubs and trees. All of them are good for wildlife, with the exception of Cotoneaster conspicuax decors whose berries birds will ignore. Consult gardening books for size, type and growing requirements.

Firethorn is a thorny shrub that provides good cover and produces masses of white flowers in May. The handsome show of berries in autumn/early winter is very popular with birds Varieties that produce red berries are best for birds. It can be grown as a hedge, or against a wall or a fence.

Beech Create a dense hedge which will be the perfect nesting site for Dunnocks, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes and provide shelter for Hedge Sparrows too. Leaves turn from dark green in summer to a beautiful golden yellow in autumn. For hedging we recommend 5 plants per metre 

Perennial Plants

Perennials are plants that live for more than 2 years, generally flowering annually and dying back during the winter. Our range has been specially selected to help you create colourful displays in your garden which will attract and benefit insects such as butterflies and bees. Choosing a variety of plants that flower at different times will help to ensure your garden looks beautiful and sustains the wildlife across the seasons.

Lavender is ideal for planting on the edge of a border. The aromatic fragrance of the blue-purple flowers will attract lots of beneficial insects. Needs full sun and, for best results, prune out the spent flower heads in the autumn, followed by cutting back completely in the spring to ensure fresh, vigorous growth.

Our plants may be delivered in an infant or dormant state but once exposed to sunlight, they will resume growing. We also recommend using a fertiliser or soil conditioner when repotting or relocating into the garden to help them establish quickly.