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!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Seasonal plants and treats down the wildlife garden

Holly is a marvellous shrub for wildlife. Holly blue butterfly caterpillars feed on the buds. Birds feed on the insect congregation and berries, and find nest sites in the protective cover. The leaves take some time to rot and being prickly, they are often left by gardeners, providing ground cover for spiders and harvestmen.

Towards the end of its flowering season Christmas rose (Helleborus Spp.) provides a very early source of nectar to bees and honeybees.

The native cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) and small cranberry (Vaccinium microcarpum) have pinkish-red flowers that serve nectar to insects in June-August. They require an acidic soil. If you are lowering the pH artificially, use manure rather than peat as the latter is harvested from natural boglands.

As it's Christmas, why not spoil the birds by offering some different nuts instead of boring old peanuts! Offer dried fruit too. Whole foods are best - avoid foods with salt and additives.

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


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