Autumn is, or should be, a busy time in the garden as there’s a lot of tidying up, clearing and cleaning to be done. I always think it’s a good time to spring clean your greenhouse to remove all the bugs and diseases that may have taken up residence in the summer.
Before you clear up outside, spare a thought for all the wildlife that may take refuge in the untidy areas. Toads and newts like to spend the cold winter months under pots or piles of bricks, whereas frogs are more likely to be found in piles of leaves or at the bottom of ponds.
Clearing out ponds can also be harmful to overwintering animals, as well as frogs hiding on the bottom of ponds, dragon fly larvae will also be on the pond floor and they are beneficial predators as well as beautiful insects.
Bees and other insects would be helped by the provision of a ‘bee or insect hotel’. These are essentially a series of short tubes (usually bamboo) fitted into something that looks like a nest box. They can be very small, or a larger affair. They give shelter to bees (obviously), but also lacewings, ladybirds and butterflies, all of which are beneficial to the keen gardener. We have a selection of these in the shop for sale.
For the more adventurous, you could build a ‘wildlife wall’, you may have seen our homemade one in the wild garden near the metal stag? This is basically a bigger and more varied version of the bee hotel. They provide a number of shelters to a wide variety of insects and invertebrates and even some mammals, such as shrews or, if you’re lucky, dormice.
Be sure to keep all your bird feeders topped up and check out Merriements specialist shop packed with bird food, nesting boxes and feeders plus a range of other wildlife essentials.