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Nature's garden

By May the weather usually holds the promise of summer and the beauty of flowers and birdsong make leaving the sofa behind even more rewarding. Here are a few ways to help nature along.

  • Only feed birds selected foods at this time of year. Avoid using peanuts, fat and bread at this time. Black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins and currants, mild grated cheese, mealworms, waxworms, mixes for insectivorous birds, good seed mixtures without loose peanuts, RSPB food bars and summer seed mixture are all good foods to provide. Soft apples and pears cut in half, bananas and grapes are also good.
    For more information visit the RSPB website
  • Bugs love an untidy garden: piles of dead wood, bark and leaves lying around the place are a source of food to some bugs and provide shelter for others. Dead wood is essential for the larvae of wood-boring beetles, such as the stag beetle. It also supports many fungi, which help break down the woody material. Crevices under the bark hold centipedes and woodlice.
    For more information visit Buglife
  • A great way of attracting amphibians and insects is to make a water feature out of any watertight container. Old sinks, troughs and tubs work well. Try to use rainwater, or else let tapwater stand for a few days before planting. Use plants such as flag irises around the edges, to give smaller creatures some cover and create a ramp or a shallow platform from rocks or stones to allow frogs and other amphibians to get in an out and enable birds and hedgehogs to drink, providing the water level is kept high enough.
    For more information visit Wild about gardens
  • Insect houses come in all shapes and sizes. There are many different species of solitary bee, all excellent pollinators. Hollow stems, such as old bamboo canes, or holes drilled into blocks of wood, make good nest sites for solitary bees. Different diameters mean many different species can be supported. Straw, hay & dry leaves can provide opportunities for invertebrates to burrow in and hibernate. Ladybirds and their larvae are champion aphid munchers!