Forum home Talkback

Talkback: Wildlife-friendly plants

kaycurtiskaycurtis Posts: 111
I rate this highly as we need to look after our native creatures, so that we maintian a healthy balance, so we can grow and survive rather than importing every thing from abroad polluting the world with airmiles.


  • I would love to grow insect friendly flowers around our pond but it is a very large clay bottomed pond (abt 100 sq mtrs) and the water seeps several metres into the lawn. I think the only thing I can grow would be bog plants and they would have to compete with the grass. Most of the pond is surrounded by rushes but there are several gaps - any ideas for suitable wild-life and insect friendly plants please.
  • We have left some long grass and wildflowers in our garden and would like to do mow it twice a year as suggested in this article. But at what time of year should these mowings take place??
  • Feeding them is great and easy. But you have to stop poisoning them too. Go organic in your garden and remove all chemicals. At least we can make gardens a safe haven for our insects.
  • I love wildlife gardening, we have got a patch where my little sis plays that is wild :)
  • Great article - really important to use native plants to help are indigenous wildlife! If we all did our bit in just a small section of our gardens it would create such a huge habitat for so many species!
  • To Jarrah's question - I wouldn't say I was an expert and someone correct me if I'm wrong but I'd say late summer and late winter are the best times to mow to help wildlife. Obviously not ever cutting your grass too short either. Hope that helps.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,634

    Last autumn I had two swift experts come over to advise me on setting up suitable nesting sites as we have a brick barn, soon to be converted to accommodation, and I wanted to be sure I would be evicting no-one.  Both seemed to think the only way to attract wildlife such as birds, bees and other good insects was to grow native weeds.  However, a tour of my garden showed them sedum sepctabile heaving with insects including 4 different bees on one flower head, insects buzzing all over the echinops and late aconitums and my 5 pallet insect hotel stuffed with layers of straw, hay, pine cones, hollow canes and holey bricks and with a sedum and house leek roof garden had them  speechless with wonder.

    We also have trees, shrubs, log piles and an unlined pond with marginal irises and marsh marigolds and rodgersias plus lots of other nectar rich plants in the garden.   You don't have to adopt the gardening equivalent of sackcloth and ashes to attract wildlife all year round.   Just as well, as our soil is far too fertile for meadow wildflowers to compete with grasses.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I'm a big fan of hawthorn. It's unusual to find a hawthorn bush that does not have a bird's nest in it. The plant will be covered with blossom very soon, and covered with fruits by Autumn. You can also stack a few logs round the base to make the complete home.

    Pyracantha is quite similar, and just as good.

    In response to Jarrah's question - cutting grass to encourage flowers and insects can become a complicated subject. Basically, if the meadow has Spring-flowering flowers, then it should be cut after they have flowered and set seed. If it has Summer-flowering flowers, then it should be cut in Autumn. .

    Whenever the meadow is cut, it's essential to remove the cuttings. If the cuttings are allowed to rot down then they will fertilise the soil, and make it more diffcult for wildflowers to survive.

  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 62

    You may just have justified the continued existence of a sizeable pyracantha, which is otherwise rather annoying me - and probably the neighbours whose garden it's overhanging, out of reach of my pruning tools. Thanks, Gary.

  • I don't really understand why buddleja davidii should be wildlife friendly. On the continent buddleja ist listet as invasive species. The problem is, that the flowers attract butterflies, but the caterpillars can't feed on the leaves. Like this the caterpillars starve. And because buddlejas are so robust and hardy they self-seed everywhere and take the place of those plants that are really valuable for butterflies
Sign In or Register to comment.