If you haven’t managed to join one of the local events or activities for National Gardening Week this week – don’t worry. There are lots of ways you can mark the week by doing a little good in your garden, and we’ve been thinking up a few of our faves. National Gardening Week’s a great opportunity to do something different in the garden – and no matter how much or how little time you have this week, there’s plenty to choose from.
Build a bee home
Let’s start with our insect friends. It’s not often that we stop and think about our garden as their home, so it’s a great idea to channel your energy into making things easier for them this week. It’s important to remember that bugs are natural pest controllers in our gardens, so why not make a home for solitary bees from tubes and tunnels in boxes? You bee house can be a simple as popping straws into a tin can – a great way to get the kids involved. Once you’ve made your bee home, hang it at chest height in a south-facing position and they should come and enjoy it during spring.
Create a compost café
Creating a compost heap is a great way to attract wildlife to your garden. The humble compost heap not only reduces landfill and enriches the soil, but it also creates a whole community of insects who will help speed up the decaying process for you. Because compost heaps create warmth, they can also be resting places for hedgehogs and other small creatures.
So, you’ve picked a spot in your garden, you’ve got your compost bin, so all that’s left to do is start picking out which waste to compost. Pretty much any organic material can be composted, including fruit and veg peelings, tea bags, weeds, shredded paper and even coffee grounds.
Help out the birds
And then there are the birds. Providing bird food and a bird bath will help to attract all kinds of bird species to your outdoor space, and you can hang a variety of bird feeders to appeal to different birds. Hanging feeders will welcome sparrows, tits and finches to your garden, and bird tables tend to appeal to robins, doves and pigeons (to name a few).
If you opt for a bird table, be sure to place it about a metre clear of cover or high vegetation to ensure that your birds aren’t vulnerable to cats while they’re feeding. Bird baths are important sources of fresh drinking water for birds, so always make sure yours is topped up.