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Talkback: How wildlife friendly is your garden?

Ihave two ponds abog garden wild flower beds grasses two more very smaal ponds on theveg plot shrubs all around my plot and its part of a community allotment in kirkby nr liverpool


  • I'm just new to gardening but have taken to growing fruit and vegetables so wildlife is not really welcome in my garden although with the winter coming up I can't help but feel for the birds. My quandary really is this, I want to feed the birds but will they come back in the summer because they're used to it?
  • jgmc3 - Yes, they'll come back to eat your aphids and caterpillars. I know birds can sometimes be a pain in the garden but they are mostly wonderful - a natural part of the cycle, helping to control species further down the food chain.
  • I am just about to buy my first house and am lucky to be getting a small garden. I would like to grow food and flowers as well as offer something for wildlife in a very small space, but as it is quite an urban area I don't want to attract vermin by putting out too much extra food.

    Can the right plants offer enough food for birds and other wildlife without attracting any of the less desirables? My friend has had many problems with rats in her compost heap and under her bird table this year so I am a little wary!
  • Like you, Kate, I scored high enough to be a champion! I've just been up my wildlife friendly garden and a beautiful young fox leaped over my compost heap like a miniature racehorse. And, by one of my logs which is covered with beautiful moss, I found a primula with a leaf growing out of the middle of the flower spike. I love exploring among my log piles. It is in the nooks and grannies of my garden that I find the unusual and then have to do some research. GardenNovice, aim to grow food for your wildlife. Kate has some good suggestions and how about a fishtail cotoneaster? If you do not put out birdseed or cooked food you are unlikely to get undesirables.
  • hi there people...
    for the last few nights,we have had a frog or toad [quite large]in our kitchen,every time i have the door open he jumps in and normally just sits on the mat,or he has a hop around,,,does anyone know why,hes seems ok as ive picked him up [no damage as such].
    my daughter thinks hes trying to hibernate, ie somewhere warm and i sort of agree with her also do you think its the same 1 that keeps coming back each night...?
    he stays for hours..well actually until i pick him up to put out.
  • Thanks for your comments

    joseph woosey - your allotments sound wonderful

    GardenNovice - happymarion's advice is always spot on. There should be no need to supplement birds' food if you grow enough berrying and seed-bearing plants for them. Grow plants like verbena bonariensis, agastache, teasels, sunflowers, cornflowers, honeysuckle, holly, guelder rose and dog rose. They will provide bees and butterflies with nectar and pollen in summer, then if you leave them throughout winter, they will provide much-needed food for the birds.

    sarah's pondlife - I don't know about looking for a hibernation site, as frogs are cold blooded so they don't need to be warm, just frost-free. I occasionally get frogs coming into the house (if it's jumping, it's a frog). I just scoop them up and pop them outside again. It's probably the same one. Sometimes I think they're just having a look around...
  • Sarah's pondlife - don't take this the wrong way but are there any damp spots in your kitchen? I used to help the gardener in a big house when I was a teenager and the maiden ladies of the house used to take me down to the basement to fit me up with ankle-length pinafores(Victorian) so I would not spoil my school uniform. The basement was teeming with amphibians but my mother who was the housekeeper had warned me not to scream! She did not know her scientifically bent daughter very well as I was fascinated. The basement had a lot of leaky pipes. I usually find frogs in the damp spots in my garden.
  • hi happy marion..[no i didnt take it the wrong way but was very funny],hope your well...
    no we dont have damp in our house,however mr frog has now moved further in,hes in front room watching tv,although my dog isnt at all happy...ive even taken a photo,im not sure what to do with him,hes jumping around ok,however my daughter thinks its a good idea to bring in slugs for him to eat...[tut tut children]

    my husband thinks hes come in to die...

    my daughter last night did say maybe its mr fox and hes come back as a frog...[our fox died xmas day of all days] and issie still misses him mind you so do i,he really was lovely and a very handsome chap.
  • I am really chuffed as in your Gardeners World audit feature I managed to score 87 points!!....The good thing about this is that I'm in the top section and still have plans to make it even better for wildlife!! LOL

    To much to talk about on here but my blog (link below) has lots of photos showing the wildlife features which I have included/constructed so far and much of it for free!!...

  • Hi everyone, I have enjoyed reading all the aricles about wildlife in the garden. I have several tree stumps too large to move at the bottom of my garden where they are surrounded by shrubs, I hope wildlife will find them a useful hiding place for the winter. I am also hoping they will rot down eventually. I have loads of windfall apples which I have chucked around the tree stumps. Is this a good thing to do?
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