Gardening for wildlife
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Total number of topics in this forum: 42
I'm a novice gardener who is interested in starting a wildlife garden. I have a long wish list of wildlife friendly plants after some research and thanks to this amazing website!
I know that the best flowers for wildlife are single flowers rather than double but how do you know if they are single or double? Before you buy? (It would be a great feature if it could be added to the plant descriptions on the website!)
Also I would love some suggestions for a shrub (possibly evergreen, beginner level) that would bear berries from early winter to late spring that birds would love (I have holly on my wish list as one option but i'd love to give the birds more choice!)
Thanks eveyone :-)
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- Replies: 4
- Posted: Tue. 21st August 2012 13:42
- Last reply: Sat. 11th May 2013 20:07
Can anyone identify this little butterfly we saw in the garden. It was about half the size of a typical butterfly and vivid red. Had to take the picture quickly as it would not sit still!
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- Replies: 3
- Posted: Tue. 19th June 2012 20:10
- Last reply: Mon. 25th March 2013 16:54
General post from
I was hoping someone may be able to help recommend an Autumn fragrant climbing type plant to go over/around our chicken and rabbit run. At this time of year with the amount of rain coming down it becomes a bit of a bog in some areas of the run and can be a bit smelly.
Most of the plants I have looked at seem to be summer smelling.
Any recommendations greatly appreciated.
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- Replies: 6
- Posted: Tue. 22nd November 2011 17:34
- Last reply: Thu. 24th November 2011 17:21
The native Red squirrels were once a common sight across the mainland of Britain, now they are sparsely situated around Scotland, and places thought to be inaccessible to the greys, such as the Isle or Wight and Anglesey. In fact more then 75% of Britain’s estimated 160,000 red squirrels are found in Scotland.
Now they could become extinct in the next 20 years, as their population has dropped 50% in the last 50 years.
Grey squirrels carry a virus called the ‘pox virus’, first discovered in Scotland in 2005, which they (the greys are immune to) but it causes deadly to the reds.
Pox disease and the loss of much woodland over the UK have contributed to their decline.
The red squirrel is facing a long tiring battle against the grey’s that are spreading this virus rapidly.
Red squirrels are most at home amongst sweet chestnut, wild cherry, hazel and beech trees, they prefer to travel within the tree canopies rather then the woodland grounds, unlike to grey squirrels.
They are highly adapted to the woodland habitat in which they live, with their lightweight bodies, long claws, and bushy tails for balance
Their ability to climb, swing and jump is actually incredible. You may of seen a squirrel in the past and noticed that it freezes when it has seen you move, they often stay frozen like that for up to 10 minutes, until they believe its safe to move again.
They build up large nests called ‘dreys’ made up of twigs, leaves moss and hair, in the forks or trunks of their chosen tree, and this is where they will bread and spend a lot of their nocturnal time when not out looking for food.
Their diet consists of seed, shrubs, nuts, shoots, flowers, and the odd birds egg if they are lucky enough to come across. Which they can be right or left handed when eating. They need to eat daily to keep up their energies, if not then they quickly succumb to starvation and disease. The autumn food harvest is vital for their survival throughout the winter months.
They typically live
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- Replies: 1
- Posted: Thu. 27th October 2011 12:27
- Last reply: Wed. 13th June 2012 21:25
General post from
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is devoting an entire month to celebrating gardening for wildlife by organising a host of green-fingered events and activities at its nine visitor centres across the UK, offering advice on how to attract wildlife to your garden, as well as showing you how to use water wisely!
WWT’s Festival of Gardening has the backing of the country’s best known gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, who has thrown his weight behind this initiative to champion the link between gardening and wildlife conservation and highlight the importance of the sustainable use of water in your garden.
Alan said: “I happen to believe that gardening is at the sharp end of nature conservation. Wildlife is fragile, it’s true, but it’s also adaptable, and it’s certainly opportunistic. Create the right environment, and the wildlife will come. If WWT is able to build a magnificent garden for wildlife in the midst of a city of millions, just think what you can achieve in your own patch of land.
“The new RBC Rain Garden at WWT London Wetland Centre is a great reminder that water is the most precious of resources, and a well-managed garden pond plays a wonderful role in protecting that resource.”
Supported by NFU Mutual, the Festival of Gardening programme of activities and events at centres throughout March will include walks and talks covering topics including how to attract wildlife to your garden or build a butterfly garden. There’ll be demonstrations on subjects including how to create your own rain garden, build a mini-beast hotel or plant up a garden pond; and some centres will even have gardener’s surgeries where a panel of experts – including renowned garden designer Dr Nigel Dunnett – will be on hand to answer all your gardening queries.
Visit www.wwt.org.uk/gardening for full details of all the events and activities at each WWT centre.
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- Posted: Thu. 10th February 2011 15:39
I live in a semi-rural area and am regenerating a hedgerow in my garden. It was left unmaintained for a long time by the previous owner, with ivy having taken over quite dramtically. The hedge is about 10-12 m long and has about three sections with slightly varying stock of shrubs. It has holly, some hawthorn and blackthorn, a little bit of wild cherry and a lot of what is either a privy or elderberry on the outer side (road side). I am looking for advice on what goes with what. I am looking to (re)plant mainly holly in one section and looking for a complementary shrub. The other section has hawthorn, blackthorn, and some wild cherry. Any ideas on how to combine these sensibly?
The original hedge has two rows of planting, where the shrubs on the outside row have degenerated into small trees and will require careful trimming back.
My plan is to plant a double row on the inside and a row along the outside part (once a gardener has been able to conclusively tell me whether I have privy or elderberry). I am thinking that once the additional row along the outside is tall enough i may cut down the original outside row to give the new row the space it needs.
Question: Is that too many rows, am I overdoing it?
Any thoughts will be kindly appreciated.
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- Replies: 1
- Posted: Sun. 7th November 2010 18:25
- Last reply: Mon. 8th November 2010 11:02
Hi all this is my first post, and I was wondering if any of you had seen any paintedlady butterflies in your garden. Last year I had many sightings of them on Dames violet and Verbena bonariensis.So far this year I havn't seen any,was it the severe winter I wonder. Although I think they breed in the Med and fly here for the summer. does anyone have any further info I would be interested. they are my favourite butterflies
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- Replies: 4
- Posted: Mon. 26th July 2010 08:28
- Last reply: Sat. 26th February 2011 15:08
Do you grow Red Campion or are any growing nearby to you? If so, you can check plants for Bumble bee nectar robbery!
More info and pics on my blog
To take part, submit your records to Nic Charlton (Bristol University)
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- Posted: Fri. 25th June 2010 20:24
I have a concrete bird bath, which was presented to me when I retired
from the school where I taught. During the past winter it has
sustained some frost damage so that the water is now leaking out through a crack.
Can I coat it with a 'water-sealing' compound - or will there be a
danger of harming the birds?
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- Replies: 2
- Posted: Mon. 15th March 2010 20:12
- Last reply: Tue. 16th March 2010 16:31
Hi all, We have now added a new 'select' category called 'bees' :-) Click the Plant Select link below and choose 'bees' from the 'uses' dropdown box. Once you find a plant you like add it to your own 'Plants I want' or 'Plants I have' lists. Add your own group, notes and photos too. Hope you like it!
Do you have any more suggestions for us to add? Happy for any more suggestions! Thanks, Nicola
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- Posted: Sun. 24th January 2010 14:31