Although there are many things that I want to do in the garden, one of the first things I did was to do a stocktake of what was already in my garden.

  • Lonicera pericylmenum (honeysuckle) x 2 – This climber attracts honeybees and bumblebees
  • Brother Cadfael rose (several)
  • Hibiscus
  • Fig
  • Climbing rose

I planted three pots. One contained thyme (thymus) and two contained lavender (lavandula angustifolia). Thyme has flowers May-July and is loved by honeybees, bumblebees and other pollinating insects. The other two pots contained English Lavender which flowers between June-August and is loved by bumblebees, honeybees, many butterflies and Hummingbird Hawkmoths.

I added a bee house which I received free last year in a Grow Wild kit from Kew Gardens. It comprises a plastic triangle filled with wooden tubes. It is designed as a nest-site for solitary bees. I positioned it pointing slightly down in a sunny position on the fence to encourage solitary bees to breed in my garden.

I also took some wire mesh off the bottom half of the side gate. The wire mesh was down to the floor, which meant that it blocked off access to the garden for visiting wildlife such as hedgehogs and foxes.

There were a number of discarded terracotta pots in one corner of the garden, which were full of dead leaves. I carefully emptied them looking for signs of hibernating visitors, but there were none. I stored all the pots in my potting shed, and swept up the dead leaves into a huge pile, which I put in a corner of the garden to make a bug hotel in order to attract more insects and hopefully also small birds and hedgehogs to my garden. I compacted it so the leaves would not blow away in the wind, topped it with branches from a pruned conifer and edged it with rotting pieces of small logs picked up on country walks. When I had made a bug hotel in my old house, within a year I noticed an increase in the number of slugs, beetles and other insects and an increased variety of small birds in my garden.

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