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Tiny wild meadow area for birds

I mean small - I've got a space around 50cmx50cm which is the end of a raised bed, which currently has lawn, bird feeder, bird bath and two fence corners. It's in the SW corner of my garden, so pretty shady.

I'd like to turn this into a bit of a wild area, including something growing up the fences that birds might like to shelter in.

Firstly what am I best off planting, particularly for the fence (happy to get some trellis) and second of all when people have a wild corner, is it better to get some edging/small fencing to fence it off or does it look nice just mowing up to it then having that section all wild?
For the ground I'm thinking of just getting throw down wild flower seeds and then in spring putting some bulbs directly into the ground, does this make sense to do?


  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    Cornflowers, scabious, teasels (but these are very invasive - be warned  ;)) and of course sunflowers if you have space.

    Wild flower seed likes impoverished soil, so dont be tempted to put fertilizer down. One of the best things to entice birds is some shelter and somewhere to hide in the wild corner. 

    Good luck and hope it brings you lots of wildlife visitors. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Could you put in a small pond, with some shrubby ground cover around? It's probably the biggest benefit you could give to wildlife.
  • gavin 431gavin 431 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the help - definitely going to give cornflowers and scabious a go. Got an issue with creeping buttercup at the moment, so will avoid anything invasive. Would you suggest a climber for the fence, hoping that would give some shelter.

    Unfortunately there's nowhere near enough room for a pond, want to keep the little of the lawn I've got left for our little one who will be toddling by next summer hence the nice corner.
  • I would plant honeysuckle for fence covering - insects & birds love it - easy to grow and flowers are very rewarding. As Bijdezee has already mentioned don't try to enrich the soil - native wild flowers prefer a poor soil. If you use annual wild flower seeds the plants will flower this year - I prefer to use perennial seeds so the plants will flower again in following years. It's a question of trial and error - as with all gardening - if you are not happy with the look try something different next year. Good luck Gavin.
  • gavin 431gavin 431 Posts: 10
    I would plant honeysuckle for fence covering
    Wow - I was thinking something like a berry bush, but that looks absolutely beautiful and something I'm definitely going to go for.
    Thanks so much everyone.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    Might not be a good idea to have a berry bush with a baby. Just in case.
    if you go for a scabious, that will just about fill your little space, but they do have a long flowering time, especially if you dead head regularly.  A honeysuckle up a trellis would be nice to compliment the scabious. My scabious can easily grow to 2’ diameter. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    Just found photo, this of one of my scabious, they are covered in bees and all sorts of butterflies through the summer, It’s over two feet across so will easily fill your space.  of one of my scabious, they are covered in bees and all sorts of butterflies through the summer,

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • RedwingRedwing SussexPosts: 1,313
    I would plant a red pyracantha on the fence. Plenty of berries for the birds and I’ve had Long Tailed Tits nesting in mine. Honeysuckle is ok but not as good as pyracantha IMO especially as you only have a small space.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • gavin 431gavin 431 Posts: 10
    Thanks for everybodies advice so far, I think I'm going to try honeysuckle for the fence, as it sounds like red pyacantha could be an issue with all of the thorns, especially with a baby around (thinking about it keeping the squirrels away was a consideration)
    For the rest, am I best trying to remove the lawn turf, planting a scabious then putting down lots of wildflower seeds, then letting it fill up with wildgrass and flowers, or can I mow the lawn there down as low as possible, scarify and plant between the existing lawn?
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