Did your parents ever talk to you about the importance of the birds and the bees? We’re not talking in euphemisms, we mean literally! If you have a garden, birds and bees are extremely useful visitors; they help to keep it healthy and to keep your plants and flowers blooming.
If you’d like to make the most of the birds and the bees in your garden, here’s how to make chirping and buzzing guests feel welcome amongst your shrubs.
Why birds are good for your garden
- Birds eat the insects and slugs that attack your flowers and vegetable gardens, keeping your plants healthier.
- A garden with lots of birds is likely to have less weeds as birds also eat weed seeds.
- If the weeds and insects in your garden are being kept in check by birds, there’ll be no need to use pesticides so you can enjoy an organic garden.
- Bird song also has the added bonus of providing your garden with a lovely ambience!
How to encourage birds into your garden
- A bird bath will attract birds as it gives them a place to bathe and drink.
- Bird feeders are also great for feathered garden guests, though in summer you may wish to limit the amount of food you put out so that birds aren’t too full to eat the insects and grups on your plants!
- Hedges and trees for birds to nest in are also important. It’s actually against the law to cut down a hedge whilst birds are nesting in it. If you don’t have hedges you can erect a nesting box as an alternative.
- Avoid using slug pellets if you’re trying to get more birds in your garden as birds could eat these and get poisoned.
Why bees are good for your garden
- It’s no secret that bees pollinate flowers, which is vital in keeping your garden healthy and blooming. Though some people are scared of bee stings (especially if they have allergies) bees are not aggressive insects – they’re far more interested in pollen than they are in using their stingers!
- Bees of course also produce two very useful substances, honey & beeswax, but without bees we’d also be without fruits, vegetables and a lot of other crops that bees pollinate. The numbers of bees are declining so it’s even more important than ever to make them welcome in your garden.
How to encourage bees into your garden
- Plant plants bees like such as foxgloves, honeysuckle, jasmine lavender and roses to attract them to your flowerbeds.
- To give bees a place to nest and hibernate, get a bee hotel for your garden that replicates bees’ natural habitat.
- Don’t use pesticides on your flowering plants either to avoid harming bees.
Though sometimes you may bemoan wildlife in your garden if you inspect your vegetable patch to find your carrots chewed and your lettuces nibbled, lots of wildlife, like birds and bees, will be a gardening help rather than a hindrance. So it’s worth investing in some bird and bee friendly garden accessories to make them feel welcome!