Your garden should be buzzing with insects and the sound of nesting birds as the weather warms up, but there’s still plenty to be getting on with!
Image by Benimoto via Flickr
Keep an eye out for where the birds are nesting in your garden and try to keep your distance so you don’t disturb them. Keep your eyes peeled for the first little chicks poking their heads out and demanding food from their parents. If you want to feed the birds, put out soft foodstuffs, such as cooked potato and fresh mealworms. Putting out bread and lots of grain may help the parent birds but not the young as seeds, and such like, may choke them. To find out more about feeding birds, check out our video here!
If you have a pond get down on your knees and watch the tadpoles as they wiggle around growing fast and look out for early damselflies emerging on pond side vegetation. If you don’t have a pond dot a variety of containers around your garden and keep them topped up with water. All your garden wildlife, from small mammals to birds and insects will be in need of a good drink in the warm weather. Make sure that some dishes are shallow so that insects can crawl out of them if they accidently fall in! You can also add new floating plants to your pond and make sure you have a small ramp so hedgehogs can get out, just in case! You could even have a go at pond dipping to see what's lurking in your pond. Find out how in our video!
The Lawn and Meadow
Now is the time to start cutting the lawn but leave a few long bits around the edges so that the ground dwelling mammals and insects have somewhere to hide from predators whilst they move around the garden. If you have a big enough garden keep one area permanently long and sow with meadow flowers. You’ll only need to cut it twice a year, once at the beginning of the season and again at the end when the seeds have set. It’s virtually maintenance free and great for wildlife.
Image by joysaphine via Flickr
What to Plant
May, the month where plants come into bloom and the hedgerows, lanes and gardens are filled with the scent of flowers blossoming. Visit your local woodland patch to become an inspired wildlife gardener.
- Bluebells, Wild Garlic and Celandine carpet the shaded ground and provide much needed nectar for pollinating bumblebees, butterflies, moths and aphids
- Clear the flower borders. Get fid of any dead foliage from last year and get rid of any dead bits of wood.
- Divide Primroses. Any major clumps in the garden can be dug up and divided, now that the flowering season is over,
- Help insects such as Bees, Moths and Butterflies by creating a mixed herb patch. Whether you have only a container garden for several acres free for wildlife, establishing an aromatic herb garden and provide a food station for our foraging invertebrates. You can mix herbs such as Borage, Lemon Balm and Lavender within your flower boarders, for added scent. Plant Sage and you may well find that your local Sparrows home in on it, as they prefer to line their nests with its aromatic leaves!
- Plant Lavender amongst your Roses as it’s supposedly a natural deterrent to Greenfly and keeps them at bay.
- Plant as many different species of mint you can find. Try creating a Mint container area, in your garden, as Mint is just as attractive to moths and butterflies as Buddleia!
- May is a good time to think about your hedge and what trees and shrubs you might want to establish. Have a look at our Hedgerow article for some ideas!