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allotments garden wildlife natural pest control wildlife

The insect hotels in our garden

We recently made a new insect hotel and revamped one of the older ones, so I thought I would share them with you. This post is particularly for the follower who asked about insect hotels and adding green roofs to them. Apologies for not getting back to you sooner and more personally – no excuse except a bad memory.

This is the first one we built in our garden and it has proved very successful with plenty of minibeast visitors but it also gave us some surprises! Last year a Dunnock nested on one of the layers and at the end of the year we discovered that a Goldcrest had nested in one of the holes in a brick.

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We then built a second hotel for our garden critters in our Spring Border and this one was created from an old wooden vegetable box. This one had a surprise for us too as at the end of last summer we found an old nest of a Dunnock.

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We next made a smaller insect hotel from a wine box and placed it in the Crescent Garden. So far no bird has nested in it but there are lots of “minibeasts” especially Ladybirds living in it and hibernating there through the colder months. Sitting on top of it though is one of our pieces of sculpture, a thoughtful young girl.

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And then this spring we added yet another insect hotel, this time we constructed it in our Freda Garden and placed two small log piles on each side of it to attract Violet Ground Beetles who we hope will eat the slug eggs in the ground.

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On our allotment we made an insect home with a green roof to add further interest and another habitat. We grow succulents, Sedums and Sempervivums on top of our insect hotel as they have tiny flowers loved by insects especially bees. The secret is to make a tray which sits on top and supported by 4 posts banged into the ground at each corner of the hotel. This means the posts support the green roof rather than putting weight on the insect hotel itself.

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Each spring on warm, calm days we enjoy seeing the Ladybirds emerging and resting on the driftwood pieces to absorb the warmth of the sun.

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Categories
birds garden wildlife gardening log piles natural pest control wildlife Yellow Book Gardens

Wildlife Homes and Green Men

When we opened our garden last August under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme and appeared in its famous Yellow Book we included in our details that we welcomed children. We were aware that few gardens make this obvious so we decided to reverse the trend. We made a few quiz sheets available for them to encourage them to look closely. They were very popular and most youngsters had a go. Some were very determined to find everything on the sheets. Great fun!

One quiz sheet featured our little collection of “green men” which we have scattered around the garden, some of which are hard to find.

The other invited our children visitors to seek out the large variteies of wildlife homes, shelters and nesting places.

I thought you might like to see the photos of the green men and our wildlife features. Amongst the green men is a definite intruder who lives in our Japanese Garden on the trunk of the Salix flexuosa.

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So now to our huge variety of wildlife features all designed and carefully placed to welcome all sorts of creatures, large and small.

Places for our feathered friends to roost and nest ………………

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Places for beetles, invertebrates and amphibians ……………………….

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Places for bees, lacewing and ladybirds ……………..

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Places for all sorts of beneficial creatures – whoever wishes to drop in ……………………

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We will have to think up some more quizes for our young visitors later this year.