As the winter months start to draw in, the weather gets increasingly colder and our gardens, unfortunately, begin to look a little lifeless. However, all is not lost… There are certain practices you can put in place to attract an abundance of winter wildlife to your garden. We cant think of anything more cheery than looking out of your kitchen window to see a garden brimming with life, even in the coldest of months.
Building a log pile attracts all kinds of creatures, both big and small. Hedgehogs love log piles – they had a bad year last winter due to all the heavy rainfall and flooding, so giving them a place to hibernate is a great way of bringing them to your garden.
Always remember to check for hedgehogs or any other small mammals before lighting any bonfires.
There are many things you can do in order to encourage beautiful songbirds into your garden. Firstly, you could try one of our bird feeders or baths. We stock a selection of beautifully designed birdbaths and feeders at our garden centre in Burnley, Lancashire.
You could also leave out mealworms or halved apples for them to feast on, or you could plant a berry shrub. Try not to cut hedges until the end of winter as they provide a valuable shelter for different species of birds.
Leave aphids on leaves in your garden to encourage these beautiful insects to feed in your garden. Nettle aphids are some of the earliest to come out of hibernation and so planting these (in a place where small children and animals wont get stung) is a good way to attract ladybirds.
If you’d like to attract frogs into your garden throughout the winter, offer them a pile of damp fallen leaves for them to hide in. You could spread leaf litter on your flowerbeds, as well as attracting frogs and small birds, it will also provide nutrient-rich mulch.
Many frogs will hibernate at the bottom of a pond so whilst you cant see them, they will most certainly be there… ribbet ribbet!
There is something extremely comforting about hearing the soft twit-twoo of owls late on a winter evening. Owls don’t make their own nest, so providing an owl nesting box will give them a reason to come to your garden and they are very loyal creatures – once they have found somewhere they like, they will stay there, often for months! The species of owl you want to attract determines which type of nesting box you’ll need - the larger the owl, the larger the box.
So all is not lost when it comes to creating a haven of life in your garden during the winter months. We hope that by reading this you’ve got a few ideas on how to encourage all different creatures to your garden. Put them in place now and we’re sure that you will have created homes, shelters and breeding grounds during those crucial winter months.