You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show: 10 ways to give nature a home in your garden

House Beautiful (UK) logo House Beautiful (UK) 14/05/2019 Olivia Heath
a bird sitting on a branch: The RHS Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019 in June, aims to show how the UK’s 24 million gardens can be transformed into a network of nature reserves. © Pauline Lewis - Getty Images The RHS Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019 in June, aims to show how the UK’s 24 million gardens can be transformed into a network of nature reserves.

How do we support wildlife in our gardens at a time when insects and other creatures are declining? The UK’s 24 million gardens can be transformed into a network of nature reserves, and the RHS Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show this June, aims to demonstrate exactly how this can be achieved.

Designed by Sharon Hockenhull, the Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven Show Garden, aims to focus on encouraging once-common garden visitors such as hedgehogs, house sparrows and starlings back through native and non-native planting.

There will be examples of different habitats for invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small animals that can be easily incorporated into domestic gardens of all sizes.

Many of the plants have been chosen for their rich nectar to attract bees, butterflies and other insects, and feature on the online RHS Plants for Pollinators Lists, including alliums, foxgloves, salvias, agastache, veronicastrum and chives.

From a small pond to a sloping pebble bank, sedum roof to a wildflower meadow, plus simple add-on ideas such as bug houses, bird boxes, baths, feeders and compost heap, visitors will leave with tons of ideas to implement in their own space.

a close up of food: RHS Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show © RHS RHS Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

'This garden will be a wonderfully interactive way of sharing RHS tips on just how simple it can be to transform gardens into better wildlife havens,' says Liz Patterson, RHS Chatsworth Flower Show Manager. 'Who doesn’t want a garden buzzing with life?Sometimes just seeing the ideas is all it takes to make some small tweaks at home and a big difference to the environment for wildlife.'

Can't wait until Chatsworth? Garden designer Sharon has suggested some top wildlife-friendly tips to help give nature a home in your garden.

1. Plant pollen and nectar rich plants with a long flowering season like Salvia nemorosa Caradonna. Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and Echinacea purpurea. If in doubt look out for the RHS 'Plants for Pollinators' symbol.

2. Replace some of your lawn with wildflower seed or turf. This is a great way to reduce your mowing maintenance and will create a different habitat in your garden that will attract a range of insects.

3. Introducing water in the garden, like a sunken water bowl or a small pond, will open up a whole new environment for wildlife. Adding a range of marginal plants in and around the pond will not only attract insects but will provide cover for birds, mammals and amphibians.

a close up of a flower garden: Garden pond © katkov - Getty Images Garden pond

4. Log piles are a really simple way to attract a whole host of insects and other invertebrates as well as moss and fungi.

5. A mix of hedging along garden boundaries would offer a wonderful habitat for birds, offering them cover, roosting sites and places to nest. Mixed wildlife hedging has become popular featuring hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose and bird cherry but equally useful are our traditional hedging plants like yew, beech and hornbeam. For something more unusual try the evergreen escallonias; their nectar-rich flowers will attract a range of pollinators including hoverflies, solitary bees, bumblebees, butterflies and moths.

6. Another option for your lawn is to leave areas to grow long. Long grass will offer shelter and a place for insects to thrive that in turn will provide food for birds and other wildlife.

a close up of a green plant: 4 Seasons. Summer, flowers © ArtemiyTerichev - Getty Images 4 Seasons. Summer, flowers

7. If you have space for a tree and want to attract more birds into your garden then go for one that will provide food and attract insects. Birch, holly, rowan, hawthorn and crab apple will all support a diverse range of insects and fruits/berries in the autumn.

8. Adding bird feeders, nesting boxes, bee houses and insect hotels is another easy way to attract a range of wildlife to your garden. For bird nesting boxes, face between north and east to avoid strong sunlight and the wettest winds. For bee houses, position facing south in a sunny position to keep bees warm in the winter months and place near your bee-friendly flowers and shrubs. For insect hotels bear in mind that you will attract different residents depending on where you place your hotel. Some will prefer cool, damp conditions and others like solitary bees will prefer the sunny spots.

a garden in front of a building: Insect house © fotomem - Getty Images Insect house

9. If you don’t already have a garden compost it is a must have in the wildlife garden. Not only are you doing your own little bit of recycling you will be creating a unique habitat for a whole range of invertebrates (including slugs, snails, earthworms, millipedes, springtails, some beetles) that play a vital role in breaking down organic matter and returning nutrients to the soil. These decomposers in turn will provide a food source for hedgehogs and other wildlife when your compost is ready to spread on your borders.

10. Leave the big garden tidy up till early spring to safeguard overwintering beneficial insects that will be hibernating on dried leaves and stems.

MSN UK are Empowering Happiness for mental health awareness month. Find out more about our campaign and the charities working to stop people falling into crisis here.

Gallery: The biggest garden trends of 2019 revealed [House Beautiful UK]


AdChoices
AdChoices

More from House Beautiful

House Beautiful (UK)
House Beautiful (UK)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon