Wild About Gardens Week

Wild About Gardens Week

Wild About Gardens Week this year is 23-29 October.

Think what you can do in Wild about Gardens week this year!

Supported by The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts the aim is that everyone should plan to do something wild in their garden.

Add a bee-friendly flower border, build a log pile or make a bird feeder.

But, the single easiest way to add wildlife value to a garden is to add water.

Create a pond or add a small area of water in a container (if a pond is too big an idea for you). If you build a pond now, in the Autumn, you can allow it to fill with rainwater over Winter which is much better for it than using tap water.

Adding oxygenating plants as soon as you have about 12"(30cm) of  water in the pond (easily done by just dropping the portions into the water) will provide the right quality water for any wildlife whenever it finds your pond.

Try to make your new pond with at least one sloping 'beach' side to allow land-based creatures an easy way in and out. You should avoid introducing fish to water intended to attract wildlife as fish will try to eat anything else.

Most land-based wildlife, including amphibians such as newts and frogs, like shallow water so you do not have to dig down very deep. 45cm(18") at the deepest is all you need with shelves at 5-6" (14-15cm) and 10" (25cm) to place the pond plants on. Adding a selection of plants on the shelves of the pond will mean that the amphibians you will attract in Spring will have cover to hide in as they come to the water to mate.

A container pond - either our fibreglass ones or a half barrel - can have plants added to allow the wildlife to climb up and out. Container ponds with steeper sides will be most used by airborne wildlife that is attracted to the water. Water boatmen and pond skaters will arrive to colonize the surface water almost immediately. Bees, butterflies and other flying insects are all attracted to water to drink (and birds too). Dragon and damselflies use water to lay their eggs in, whilst still in flight.

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