Our friends at CJ Wildlife, Europe’s leading garden wildlife specialists, are encouraging gardeners to think ahead to the needs of their wildlife this year as they plan which plants to add to their garden this spring.
Wildlife friendly plants can provide suitable nesting sites, shelter and a source of food for beneficial insects, birds and mammals in your garden. Although offering nesting boxes, additional food and water year-round is essential to caring for your local wildlife, creating a wildlife garden with longevity will help sustain your garden visitors across the seasons too.
When creating your wildlife haven select your plants based on the size of your garden and the species you wish to attract. The plants will help to attract more wildlife to your garden, and providing nest boxes close by will encourage the wildlife to stay.
The wild plant experts at CJs work with the growers to hand-pick plants that are beneficial to native UK wildlife. They make selections based on attributes such as dense foliage, edible berries and nectar rich flowers so that their range of close to 250 varieties has a broad appeal to a variety of species.
If you don’t already have an abundance of bees in your garden, you can purchase Red Mason Bee Cocoons from CJ Wildlife each spring. The cocoons come from their own breeding and research programme based in Shropshire, and are available for a limited period of time in March and April.
Gardening with wildlife in mind means not being obsessively tidy; reducing the use of chemicals to a minimum; and providing habitats for a wide range of different creatures. Features such as log piles, areas of unmown grass or suitably planted ponds with shallow sides to allow wildlife to enter and escape, are some of the simple ways that we can all increase the wildlife value of our gardens.
Choose plants that will offer food for pollinators and seed or fruit eating species, and perhaps also provide shelter for roosting or nesting, and add to that by providing nest boxes, bat boxes and insect shelters. Don’t forget that birds and other wildlife such as hedgehogs also benefit from a regular supply of good quality supplementary food.