Plants With a Purpose: Using Gardening to Help Wildlife

Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by HodgePodgeDays

A thriving garden with loads of activity can do more than just be lovely to look at. Who wouldn’t like to greet the regular hedgehog family before heading off to work, right? The vegetation you keep in your backyard will determine what kind of animals it attracts – and it can even function as a natural pest control.

By understanding the dynamics behind it all, you’ll not only be on the frontline of saving British wildlife – but you’ll also have a garden in full bloom, beaming with life and activity. And, contrary to what they say, a wildlife garden doesn’t have to be messy at all.

Saving the bees

Sure, hedgehogs and squirrels are cute and all, but they’re not the only ones who’d like a helping hand from time to time. Bees are on a rapid decline in the UK, and nobody seems to be able to pinpoint exactly why – all we can do is to try and make it better for them.

It’s more benefits to attract bees to your garden than simply saving the ecosystem, although this certainly should be reason enough; those fruit trees in your garden will need the help of bees to pollinate the crops.

As much as 35 % of our diet depends on bees pollinating our fruit and vegetable crops, so you better get started and plant those blackcurrant bushes and apple trees as soon as spring arrives.

Gardening for butterflies

So, butterflies have suffered enough already, don’t you think? If you thought your holidays were grey and mundane, think again; the bees and butterflies of Britain have not had a good summer since 2006.

With 58 species of native butterflies in Britain, many of which are at the risk of becoming extinct, you have a lot of opportunities for making your garden their sanctuary. The latest figures show that our work has paid off as well, by the way, as the butterflies that are most threatened have climbed slightly in number due to conservation efforts.

The weather is unsteady, giving us torrents of rain at one point and freezing days the week after, making it super hard for our beloved summer creatures to thrive. Have a read on this depressing article, for example, and find the motivation to plant some forget-me-nots and hawthorns in the spring.

You can even rush to the garden center as soon as you’re done reading this, and plant some ivy as well as sunflowers as they’ll attract everything from bees, birds, and butterflies even in late summer or autumn. There is more wildlife at risk than these two, though, so enlighten yourself with this article and go spread the word.

While we’re stuck inside complaining about the weather, the ecosystem in your backyard is working hard to survive. You can lend them a helping hand at any time of the year, and remember that the work you put in this autumn and winter will make it even easier for them to thrive and survive when spring returns.

This is a contributed post.

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