Wildlife in my new garden

Rudbeckia provides a great source of late season nectar for pollinators

Communications Officer, Jenny, has just moved into a new house, but what will her new garden have in store?

It was with a heavy heart that I waved goodbye to my old garden just a few short weeks ago. Full of lovely peat-free plants that had been chosen to create that perfect mixture of beauty and to be a wildlife haven (and the biggest blackcurrant bush you had ever seen!), I’d spent the last ten years working on it.

But it was time to move to pastures new and see what led ahead for me in my new garden.

Scots pine tree

This 10m tall scots pine towers over the house

Apart from a few small beds that are choked with mare’s tail, the back garden is a combination of tarmac, paving and more tarmac. The inside of the house is a ‘bit of a project’ so apart from adding my old containers, that might be a job for next year. Instead my sights turned to exploring the front garden.

I’m lucky to say that this is lovely big space with some well-established shrubs, a line of beech trees and a huge scots pine that towers over the house and must be 100 years old. And whilst most of it is laid to lawn (and already home to two football goals), two sides are edged with lovely wildlife-friendly hedges and there’s a couple of wonderful flower beds.

Bee feeding on green ivy

Ivy provides a great source of late season nectar for pollinators

A few clumps of rudbekia and some Japanese anenomies are providing some late season nectar for our pollinators, and there’s a huge fence full of ivy which was covered in bees, tortoiseshell butterflies and hoverflies on a mild sunny day a few weeks ago.

Squirrels spend their days burying acorns, conkers and other nuts all over the lawn for winter – and a few are getting very territorial over their patch and chasing any interlopers away.

And a real discovery came with a lovely habitat pile tucked away in a corner, full of sticks and leaves that will make the perfect place for a hedgehog and any number of invertebrates to shelter the winter away.

Habitat pile of sticks, leaves and dead grass

Habitat piles are loved by insects and small mammals alike

It's the birds that have been the real highlight of the garden for me so far

I’m lucky enough to have my home-working desk set up looking out onto the garden and after a few days I’d seen the resident robin flitting around so decided it was time to get the bird feeders out.

Bird feeding station hung with bird feeders

Bird feeding stations allow you to feed different types of food to attract different birds

I treated myself to a new bird feeding station, with a very necessary squirrel baffle, and hung it with a general wild bird seed mix, some fat balls, a tray of mealworms and a dish of clean water – most of which came from our friends at Vine House Farm (a percentage of their profits is donated to us).

And then they came! Within just a week I had had visits from blue tits, great tits, coal tits, fluffy little long-tailed tits, a wren, a chaffinch and then could hardly believe my eyes when a nuthatch and a great spotted woodpecker appeared!

Blue and gold nuthatch sitting on a twig

A nuthatch has become a regular visitor - photo: Margaret Holland

I may now spend most of my days staring out of the window and regularly interrupt video calls with news of my latest visitor, but this connection with nature that my lovely wild new garden is giving me, is really helping to keep up my spirits.

There’s so much that we can all do to help wildlife in our own gardens, window boxes or community growing spaces. My Wild City is providing free My Wild Garden downloads full of handy hints and tips, do get yours today.

You’d be amazed at what a difference taking just a simple step or two for nature can make for wildlife, and for you.

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