We've had a request from a member of the public for more pictures of gardens on the forum to help generate ideas about what can be done to entice wildlife into their own patch. This sounds like a great idea to me so if anyone wants to share any snaps of their own wildlife friendly garden features, feeding stations and planting choices please post them on this thread!
If you are happy to share some snapshots of your own gardens it would be great to see them!
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We downsized garden significantly 16 years ago but upsized house, new house, new garden, smaller plot, put in water feature, running water into pond from a waterfall, have compost heap, 10 bird feeders, 6 bird boxes but plagued by cats, one shown here
Thanks John, he looks like he's eyeing up one of your pond dwellers? Have you tried any deterrents?
Minus the cat it looks a great place for frogs, plenty of gently sloping banks, had any dragonflies this year? Any success with the bird boxes?
I read yesterday that if you put citrus peel into the garden they don't like it. I have put about 6 orange peel worth in since and wait with anticipation. I only have one cat coming in from neighbours but she always manages to catch a bird every week or so so I too would be grateful for any assistance. She is a lovely cat and it is nature after all but not in my garden lol :)
Yes Ian shortly after that episode above we netted the pond, it really is to keep the Heron out, but one now defunct bird table had this on it once!
re the bird boxes, we had Blue Tits building but abandoned and in a larger box Great Tits nesting but abandoned, I won't know what is within until I clean out boxes in October
I shall zip my lips on the cat situation:-(
I'm lucky to have mature lime trees and other trees on which I've put three bird boxes that my brother made for me and there's holly and may in a hedge down the one side and I've planted a pyracantha hedge down the other side, the hedges are the length of the garden which is about 120ft or so, there are loads of other shrubs in them too like buddelia and I've planted Rowan trees all along the pyracantha hedge and put ivy in etc etc, so the birds have plenty of cover and have natures food too. I put the baths by the hedge so the birds have more cover from the local Sparrowhawk. I've made two bird tables and I also put food underneath the hedges so they are more tempted to feed because of the cover they have, especially the Blackbirds and Dunnocks. I leave branches and twigs under the trees to attract insects and I leave nettles in the hedges, I let the weeds grow profusely in the hedges, which attracts loads of insects and especially bees. I've planted other trees too down the centre of the garden which still have a long way to go before they mature and I hang feeders in them and an Oak tree planted it's self some years ago in the holly hedge.
This is how it used to be, I've now got another bird table at the top of the garden and the trees down the middle have grown enough for the hanging feeders to go on.
The truth is I'm mad. We are all mad and many are too mad to know the truth.
We're in the process of designing our garden... We planning to have a wildlife section towards the far end of it, so any suggestions are of course welcomed!
First phase is nearly complete, a rockery and a path to take us into the garden:
At the moment we have 8 bird feeders, and quite an impressive list of birds recorded so far:
We're over run with squirrels, I've counted more than 10 at one time, but usually have 3-6! Everything is squirrel proof...
I'd like to attract butterflies, hedgehogs, even foxes... We have a large sycamore at the end of the garden, I'm planning to put an Owl Box on it, just on the off chance!
Ross & Traci
Vist Ross' Flickr photos here and follow us on Twitter here
Birdie; do you get Waxwings on your Rowan Trees? I was thinking of doing the same...
Hi Ross & Traci, no, only one tree has grown enough to have berries on it so far the others aren't old enough yet. I've seen a ringed necked parakeet eating the berries off it. The holly was covered in berries last year, never seen so much, and it got attacked by grateful redwings. There's plenty of berries each year on the Pyracantha that the birds eat and the ivy has matured enough to also provide food. There is an apple and a plum tree too, but we never get anything off them as the bullfinches eat the buds and the birds eat any plums and apples that manage to grow lol!! Your gardens got brilliant hedges in it and I love the rockery, you'll get loads of insects there.
Ross & TraciBirdie; do you get Waxwings on your Rowan Trees? I was thinking of doing the same...
I've been lucky enough to see Waxwings at different locations during the last two or three winters. Each time I have seen them they have been feeding on the orange-berried variety of Rowan never the bright red ones. Has anyone else noticed this preference ?
My gallery here
Like everyone else I have theories and opinions on lots of things I know b*gger all about.
Hi Ross & Traci have a read HERE about Rowan Trees, it's interesting.
Hi Galatas, I heard somewhere that the Red berries are wild Rowan and the orange berries are cultivated Rowan, (or t'other way round!!) but I don't know if it's true.
Not as regards waxwings. However, I have several pyracanthas in my garden with orange berries. Nothing eats them! They do eat the red berried ones, however.
See my photos on Flickr
I have a very difficult back garden. Our house was built in the 80's on the edge of a small estate with fields to one side. The garden isn't very big, and sadly the previous owners concreted a large portion of it leaving me with no or very little soil and no grass at the back.
I have boundary hedging of conifers, through which I grow honeysuckle and clematis. I also planted a privet bush that I have left to grow as it wishes, with just a few hair cuts when it interfers with other things. (Mainly my OH when he tries to walk past it). The privet and conifer hedge are popular with the sparrows in particular as they provide the dense cover they enjoy. The dunnocks and blackbirds love the areas underneath the hedges.
This is the privet bush, full of sparrows. It is about 9 feet high, thick and bushy.
I have a lovely thick English Ivy climbing up the outside wall of the house that produces masses of berries and is home to wrens and robins.
I have somewhere around 100 tubs and containers placed in large groups in which I grow shrubs and flowers. I try various different flowers to attract butterflies and bees, and I have a pile of logs rotting away underneath a wooden seat that was also made from a log. Goodness knows what lives under there, I daren't look very often!
There are no trees in my back, and no practical way of planting any, but next door makes up for that. I do try to grow berried shrubs in some of my tubs.
I have many different feeders hanging from brackets mounted on fences in and amongst climbers such as pyracantha and immediately adjacent to the conifer hedges for the birds that prefer to be near cover, plus a flat tray sitting ontop of an old chimney pot for the birds that don't generally use hanging feeders.. I also have a wonderful feeding station made by my OH out of a dead tree trunk with one of those wooden Christmas Tree bases on the top, with hooks for feeders. It's about 6' 6" high. All varieties of bird use the top as a perch, and I find the many gold finches, siskins and redpolls I attract prefer a more open position so they have all round vision.
It is also important to provide water for drinking and bathing. I have three baths - a stone one, a terracotta water feature and a home made jacuzzi. The stone one isn't too popular, but the other two are in constant use by sparrows, robins, blackbirds, starlings, dunnocks and the few tits I have. This is the home made jacuzzi.
Lastly, I have a couple of nesting boxes mounted on the back wall of the house. One is a sparrow terrace up under the eaves. The other is a single box lower down. I've never had sparrows nest in them - the blue tits make sure of that.
Especially love the bird feeder! Looks great!