Management of the Wildlife Garden
A healthy soil is the foundation for the wellbeing of the garden as we treat our land with great respect and nourish it with re-cycled organic matter from the garden and small-holding. We time our gardening tasks with great precision to minimise disturbance to wildlife and all our weeds, grass cuttings and prunings are usefully returned to the garden in one form or another. Chemicals spell disaster to wildlife and must be avoided so we manage the garden to pre-empt problems from pest, disease or over-bearing weed problems. Encouraging beneficial wildlife helps turn the contest between pest and predator in our favour.
Our home produced compost conditions and mulches the soil and feeds the plants. Certain crops, such s courgettes, are grown on top of maturing heaps.
Some of our hazel and willow woven items, along with thorny prunings are threaded back into our hedgerows to make safer nesting sites.
Long grass is cut section by section in a patch-work system whereby there are always some parts left uncut and undisturbed for wildlife.
Fallen wood is allowed to decompose naturally, providing welcome habitat for all sorts of creatures.
We feed and encourage the birds, such as tits, which help control pest insects in return.
Winter seed-heads, such as teasels, are left for the birds - especially goldfinches who prefer this natural source to the feeders.
Amongst the trees and shrubs with berries, cotoneasters are a favourite with the blackbirds who reward us with their sweet song.
Morning glory is a favourite plant with hoverflies whose larvae have a voracious appetite for aphids.
Nasturtiums lure cabbage white caterpillars away from brassicas.