As tempting as it may sometimes be to keep your garden free from bugs and animals, a lot of creatures are actually beneficial to the garden and indeed the bigger picture. From bees, which are important pollinators of various plants and fruiting trees, to ladybirds, which feast on aphids, together with Dobies, retailers of flowering plants, we take a look at the wildlife that you should be more welcoming to and why.
Butterflies and Bees
Butterflies and bees can be great additions to your back garden. They are natural pollinators, which means that they help spread your flowers around the garden and encourage growth. Encouraging bees and butterflies into your garden is easy, simply opt for a selection of bright, colourful flowers and let nature do the rest.
Not all insects are a annoying – some have their uses and can actually protect your plants from infestations of smaller creatures. Aphids, for example, are a problem for many gardeners. The small insects, also known as the greenfly and blackfly, suck saps from plants and excrete it as honeydew. This sticky substance then falls on the lower leaves of the plant which can be harmful to its growth as photosynthesis becomes increasingly inhibited. Ladybirds can protect you from these sorts of attacks as their larvae are predators of soft-bodied insects such as aphids. Encourage ladybirds to visit your garden by providing them with a water source.
Damsel bugs are another insect that may be useful to have around. They feed on aphids, small caterpillars and other irritating small creatures, which helps your crops to thrive.
Keeping Slugs and Snails at Bay
There are some creatures that you definitely do not want in your garden, namely slugs and snails who leave holes in leaves and feast on your fresh green shoots. To prevent these animals from taking over, encourage hedgehogs into your green space. They are a gardener’s best friend, as they feed on snail, slugs and other insects. To encourage hedgehogs into the garden, leave food out for them – cat biscuits are a good, cheap food source for these animals. You could also leave areas of the garden to grow wild with piles of leaves and overgrown grass to encourage hedgehogs to set up camp.