Monday, 10 September 2007

Making a wildlife garden

OK, so how did I do it? Well the first thing I did was buy "The Wildlife Pond Handbook" by Louise Bardsley (ISBN 1 84330 111 3) and I read it very carefully indeed! I employed professionals to dig out my pond and lay the bricks as I wanted a large area of the garden (over 70% of it!!) dug out. Using Louise's book, I ordered my native pond plants from Merebrook Pond plants---excellent value as most of the plants cost less than £2.50. I raked out the back areas and planted a selection of wildflower seeds---some to attract birds, some butterflies, and one lot for 'shady areas' (all Sutton seeds). I tried to get everything I could either free or at very reduced prices---hence I visited the dump, scoured out our old shed for possible planters, and took advantage of money off offers in magazines and papers. I particularly recommend the BBC publications for this. I dug out mature plants from overgrown allotments (with permission!) to fill in any bare patches.What I didn't stint on though was the quality of the climbers that I planted around the wild section. Here I went for bright autumn colour and strong scents. I made sure that everything I bought had gained an RHS gold medal and I planted each with great care, digging in plenty of organic matter as the soil in my garden is poor (and the builders had removed all the top soil!). My plan now is to plant bunches of fragrant miniature narcissi--of course I have got the bulbs on special offer (BBC publications again!). I'd love to here your comments about this.

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