…. the birds and the bees.
Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by adminThe lyrical sound of the dawn chorus begins early this time of year and invites us out into the garden to enjoy the fresh morning air and to wander around the garden to delight in the abundance of the season… or at least to perch on a garden bench with a cup of coffee. Gardens are crucial in sustaining our wildlife and there is much we can do to encourage birds, bees and various 'beasties' to share our outdoor space with us. Selecting plants that provide food, nectar and shelter for wildlife will also provide us with beautiful scent, spectacular colour and trilling bird song. Plant varieties like Salvias, Lavenders, Penstemons, Phlox and Daisies for pollinating insects, Buddleia and Teasels for butterflies, Sunflowers for tits, sparrows and siskins and Foxgloves and Thyme for bees. All hardy annuals will attract insects and this will in turn attract the birds. In the countryside, native hedges of Holly, Hawthorn, Dogwood and Ivy provide protected nesting and roosting sites for birds as well as a myriad of insects to feed hungry chicks with gaping beaks. Prickly Pyracanthas with their orange berries are loved by finches, sparrows, starlings and thrushes, whilst the autumnal blue berries of the spiky Berberis are favoured by blackbirds and thrushes. The thorns also make for secure hiding places and protection from stormy weather and predators. The Honeysuckle’s tangled vines provide ideal nesting sites as well as attracting insects and aphids for warblers and bull finches. Share your fruit harvest with the blackbirds, thrushes, chaffinches and redwings and allow them the odd strawberry or two…. Even small gardens can encourage and enjoy wildlife with selective planting – pots can be crammed full of varieties that encourage bees, insects and the birds that feed on them. A number of studies have highlighted the continued decline of animal and plant species and although there is no simple solution to how we can, individually, help to stem this decline, conservationists suggest that by getting involved in monitoring projects and adapting our gardens, we can make a difference - small changes can bring huge benefits.
Pauline Bourne (East Grinstead Garden)
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