Welcoming Wildlife and Insects
Whether you want to completely transform your garden or start with a smaller patch to encourage wildlife into your outdoor space, there are an abundance of easy solutions to help out local birds, insects and other animals as well as creating a beautiful space to garden-watch. From planting nectar-rich flowers, to providing a water source or even adding wildflowers to your windowsill, there are a multitude of ways to get started by visiting Leckford Estate’s plant nursery.
1. Buddleja – The ‘Butterfly Bush’
Summer is the time for the Buddleja. This is a great place to start when cultivating a space for wildlife to thrive. In full bloom, they attract an abundance of butterflies and bees, which is a real beauty to behold on a sunny summer’s day. The fragrant flower requires relatively little maintenance and can flower from July all the way through to early September. It’s nectar-rich nature provides essential nutrients for butterflies and bees alike in one simple step.
The National Collection of Buddleja can be visited at Longstock Park Nursery. Access to the collection and the herbaceous border is free. The garden nursery also sells a wide range of Buddleja and can offer help and advice on how to care for your plant throughout the year to make sure it produces the best blooms to attract butterflies.
2. Luscious Lawns
Keeping your lawn long will not only be a haven for insects and wildlife but will also help maintain moisture during hot, dry summer days. When mowing lawns, increase the cutting height so less grass is removed each time you cut. This helps maintain moisture and helps protect the soil from the dry sun and wind.
Lawns work hard for us during summer so make sure you add a lawn feed throughout the growing season. A range of lawn feed is available from the garden shop and our garden nursery specialists are always happy to offer some advice to keep your lawns luscious.
3. Provide a Water Source
Whether it’s simply a small bowl of water, a bird bath or (if you have the space and time to add it) a pond, providing a water source is one of the most beneficial things you can do for wildlife in your garden. This doesn’t have to mean leaving your hose on either, you can add a water butt to your outdoor space to collect the rainwater and do the hard work for you.
4. Add a Bird or Bug Box
Introducing bird and bug boxes into your garden will only help encourage wildlife to bloom in your garden. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; you can buy a pre-built structure to help them settle in or build your own from fallen twigs and leaves, dead wood, stones, and corrugated cardboard.
Mental Health Benefits
Studies have shown that encounters with the natural environment not only reduce stress levels and anxiety but also help people overcome mental fatigue. By simply spending more time looking at nature or going out in it, you should see some great health benefits too.
Visit our Longstock Park Water Garden
The Water Garden at Leckford Estate is a haven for visitors and wildlife. Water, blooms and wooded areas create habitats for a whole range of animals, insects and birds. Visit the garden with the family during August for a relaxing day out, stop off for ice cream at the Cherry Tree Café and sit back and enjoy the surroundings of our garden and grounds. You'll find Cherry Tree cafe next to the walled nursery garden and our larger cafe at the farm shop, with plenty of seating inside and outside.