Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Don’t demolish our humble abode!

Many gardeners are tempted at this time of year to tidy up last year’s perennial flower stems and leaves. For good reason, the wildlife gardener waits a bit longer.

As the weather turned colder last autumn, insects such as ladybirds entered the hollow stems of perennials. Stems (and leaf litter) are excellent hibernation and over-wintering sites, providing insulation from cold winds, frost, rain and snow.

Next month, after the insects have emerged, the hollow stems can safely be cut and added to the compost heap where they will introduce essential air pockets. Consider planting perennials such as fennel, michaelmas daisy and knapweed ready for next year’s sleeping beauties.

Drinking straws or short pieces of garden cane tied in bundles and bunged at one end with plasticine serve a similar purpose. Tie them under window sills and around the garden. Lacewings and other insects will also shelter there in the summer.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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