Beauty and the bug: make your garden attractive to insects
January 01, 2020 by Extinction Rebellion
With insects on the decline, why not roll the metaphoric red carpet out for them by turning your garden into an insect haven?
Insects such as woodlice, beetles and centipedes love a good woodpile. Wood left outdoors is also the perfect habitat for lichen and fungi. It can also house small animals, providing shelter for hedgehogs. Bury the bottom third of the log to encourage insects that eat dead wood. If you’re unable to get hold of natural logs, reclaimed sleepers or gate posts will work just as well.
Avoid pesticides, insecticides or any other chemical agents that you might be tempted to put on or near your plants. Ladybirds and other insects love to feed on aphids, so let them be!
Create a water source in your garden to keep wildlife hydrated. If possible, dig a natural pond as it will attract damselflies, frogs, newts, dragonflies and many other creatures. Fill it with oxygenating plants that naturally keep the water breathable for its inhabitants. If a pond is out of the question, a ‘nano-pond’ is nearly as good – made simply of an old bucket kept topped up with fresh water.
MAKE A COMPOST HEAP
A compost heap is a great way to create natural fertiliser for your soil that will also attract worms and create shelter for springtails, Devil’s coach horse beetles, earwigs and perhaps even a place for bumblebees to nest. Starting a compost heap is straightforward. The RSPB recommends purchasing a compost bin made from slatted wood, and local councils often sell cheap bins. Even better, make your own from reclaimed wood so that wildlife can climb in and out.
PLANT MORE PLANTS
Think about the types of plants you want to encourage in your garden. There are lots of different bee-friendly plants including lavender and japanese snowball (viburnum plicatum). Wildflowers and different grasses create a fabulous array of flora for pollinators, and purchasing wildflower seeds isn’t as expensive as you might think. Look up ‘plants for pollinators’ for suggestions. Good luck!