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I thought I'd post an update on my efforts to attract wildlife into my garden and would love to hear how other members are getting on.

I've had lots of bees visiting regularly for months. At the moment their favourite plants are Aquilegia, Rue, scented Pelargonium, Chives, Pulmonaria and Broad Beans.

There are a number of aphids on my plants but not enough Lacewings, Ladybirds and Hoverflies to keep the numbers down. That said, I wouldn't go so far as to say the plants are infested so I haven't had to resort to blasting them off with the hosepipe yet!

I've still only spotted two fat tadpoles at any one time in the pond but I'm delighted to say I have a youngish frog in residence. I'll try and get a good macro photo to share.

The bird feeder is visited daily by a pair of wood pigeons and I've also seen starlings, sparrows and great tits using it, although not so regularly. No sign of my robin or blackbirds this year yet.

I've had a few butterflies but never more than a couple at a time. However the Buddleia is about to bloom so I'm ever hopeful of attracting a few more. And I've sown a whole host of other native plants which are suppossed to attract butterflies so once they come into bloom how will they be able to stay away?

Georgie

  • Views: 1143
  • Replies: 9
  • Posted: Sat. 6th June 2009 19:51

Wildlife

Reply from Joanne 9919

Hi Georgie,

I was thrilled last week when a Chaffinch was feeding on the seeds in my garden. I only usually get the usual Starlings and Sparrows on the feeder. I hope he'll be back. We do get lots of blackbirds and a pair built a nest in the hedge last year, but they must have moved home this year.

The wildlife pond has lots of insects swimming in it, but I haven't seen any frogs around. I think I was too late setting up the pond for them to spawn in it this year.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen many butterflies around, but have seen bees and hoverflies in the garden.

I've just bought a Heliotrope after my disaster at trying to get the seeds which you sent to germinate, and also bought a Nemesia which I love, so I'm hoping that these might attract more butterflies.

Jo.

  • Posted: Sun. 7th June 2009 13:36

Wildlife

Reply from Georgie

Hi Jo

Thanks for posting your update. So sorry the Heliotrope seeds didn't germinate for you, can't think why as mine were fine.

I've been bee watching again today, so many and still very fond of the Rue. I took this photo - it's a buff-tailed bumble bee - but I'm afraid it's not very good as it was rather windy.

G x

Wildlife

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 20:51

Frog!

Reply from Joanne 9919

Hi Georgie,

Guess what? I've got a frog in my pond! Hubby spotted him last night, but we couldn't get a proper look at him as he was quite deep and hiding in the plants.

Makes it all worthwhile doesn't it?

I didn't realise that there were so many different types of bumble bee until I read an article about them. Each time I see one now I'm trying to distinguish between the different types.

Jo.

  • Posted: Fri. 12th June 2009 12:55

Frog

Reply from Georgie

Jo, that's wonderful news, you must be delighted.

I find bees really hard to identify. It seems the more I read, the more confused I get!

Georgie

  • Posted: Fri. 12th June 2009 19:44

Wildlife friends & foes

Reply from Laura Thomas

Hi Georgie

Never have amphibians as my pond is in central london walled garden but lots of creepy crawlies in it. Wrens, robins, tits, greenfinches, blackbirds and even the Great Spotted woodpecker come for a regular drink and a bathe.

Mostly bumble bees on the foxgloves, aquilegias & cranesbill geraniums and flowering herbs (thyme, Sweet Cecily) as well as hoverflies which also seem to like the variegated yellow euphorbias and the privet.

Innundated with greenfly and blackfly but these have been held in check by a 'plague' of Harlequin ladybirds (see nymphs in pic). Alas no native ladybirds.

Have also had to dispose of a few Lily beetle and Rosemary beetle which seems to prefer the Sage.

Swarms of Painted Lady butterflies have moved into the South East and thought I saw a couple the other day. Like you, waiting for Buddleia to flowers to lure them in.

Laura

Willdlife friends & foes

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Sun. 7th June 2009 14:26

Wildlife

Reply from Georgie

Hi Laura

Thanks for your interesting post. Like you, the Rosemary beetles in my garden seem to prefer the Sage. Here's a photo I took earlier.

Georgie

Wildlife

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 20:54

How are we doing?

Reply from David Sewell

Hi Georgie,
Here in the Cotswolds we are awash with painted ladys - they seem to be everywhere. I've been trying to take more notice of butterflies this year and was chuffed to find a white admiral recently. Goldfinches have continued to visit the garden in large numbers (good old niger seed) but because I never feed sunflower seeds in the summer we've had no greenfinches. Now that most birds have finished breeding I'll restart to sunflowers. It's been interesting to see that the peanuts, which are barely touched for a lot of the year, are gobbled up by the house sparrows at this time of year. I also had the amazing sight of a jackdaw hanging off the peanut feeder last week!
All best,
David

  • Posted: Wed. 5th August 2009 10:15

You lucky thing

Reply from Georgie

Hi David

I am very jealous of your butterflies. Despite my best efforts all I really seem to get are the small and large whites with the odd comma and red admiral. That said, I think I had a humming bird hawk moth on the Buddleia at the weekend but I can't be sure. Whatever it was it was fascinating to watch.

It's the same story with the birds, just the usual varieties I'm afraid. The good news is that I've still got lots of bees and more recently hoverflies and there are definately frogs about although they are rather camera shy.

The harlequin ladybirds arrived in droves in July and saw off all the aphids - something we have to live with now I think - but I have seen a few native ladybirds in the last couple of weeks so perhaps they are learning to live in harmony?

Georgie

  • Posted: Mon. 10th August 2009 20:02

Re: How are we all doing?

Reply from Barry Tabor

Hello, All.
Presumably the visitors we get depend very much on where we live, but even among the prairy-like setting of the 'wheat belt' of East Anglia, gardens are a great refuge for wildlife, from the hostile environment all around. In north Cambs we regularly get about 20 to 30 bird species, including all three British woodpeckers (actually, only the green one is regular) and several species of bumblebee along with several kinds of other bees, many hoverflies, the occasional fox and a few frogs but no toads. Our pond was under an oak tree - there's nowhere else for one here. It soon filled with high-tannin oakleaves and the few wild creatures that used it for the first few years soon disppeared, ans we filled it in. We used to get three speacies of dragonfly and some damselflies. We plant for butterflies and moths, too, and have had some welcome visitors, but the number and variety of moths in our countryside has become very few over the last 40 or 50 years. We all know this because there are very few splattered over the fronts of our cars these days - many years ago headlights would be dimmed by small corpses after 20 or 30 miles. Not any more .....
Perhaps the best thing we do for them is make sure water is always available here - more important than food for most of the year.

Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 20th February 2012 14:51