If you are keen to encourage Britain’s bees, butterflies and native insect species into your garden, then you aren’t alone! There has been a resurgence of interest in how our gardens can sustain nature and the RSPB is just one organisation helping to champion the drive. Here are some easy steps you can take to make your garden more ‘bug-friendly’.

Include a pond

If you don’t have young children, then a pond can be a wonderful addition to any garden, immediately creating natural habitats for beautiful dragonflies, pond skaters and perhaps the odd frog family! Ponds are fascinating little eco-systems in their own right and can give great pleasure to gardeners.

Go easy on chemicals

Remember that insecticides and pesticides are indiscriminate and will kill all insects in the garden, as well as threatening the hedgehogs and birds who feed on them. Look for kinder alternatives wherever possible.

Plant native plants

Britain has beautiful plants and flowers and these have evolved to support our native species. Even planting a lavender bush will encourage butterflies and bees to visit your garden and help to encourage diversity.

Leave an untouched area

If you can, consider leaving a small area of your garden untouched for a nature refuge. You will spot solitary mining bees relaxing in the sunshine and other small creatures of interest.

Make a nectar stop

Include nectar-rich plants such as buddleia, which attracts hoverflies and butterflies during summer. Hedera helix, or ivy, is also a great nectar source and you’ll be rewarded by some fantastic butterfly and flying insects alighting for refreshment!

Hold off on deadheading

If you can resist deadheading all of your plants until the spring, they will provide an overwintering refuge for your garden insects.

Get to know your insects

If you’ve invested time and energy into welcoming in native butterflies, bees and insects, then take the time to enjoy them and learn about them. This is also a great learning activity to share with children and can encourage a real love and appreciation of the natural world.

For more tips on garden design in Cheltenham, give us a call.

Photo: Bee by Rob Gallop licensed under Creative commons 2