6 Ways to Create a Wildlife Garden

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing butterflies and bees in the garden? There has been a decline in the UK’S wildlife populations in recent decades, with studies stating a decrease of up to 60%, but there are ways to combat this issue in our very own gardens.

With these simple steps, it couldn’t be easier making your outdoor space attractive to pollinators, birds and mammals. Here are our easy tips for creating a wildlife haven in your garden.

1. Choose the Right Flowers

Flowers provide an excellent source of pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects.  Here’s just a small selection of our favourite nectar-rich summer blooms to attract an array of pollinators.

Centranthus ruber coccineus

A cluster-forming perennial. This easy to grow plant blooms with stunning tiny pink flowers that are adored by butterflies and bees. Great for borders.

Echinacea ‘Golden Skipper

A cheery sight for summer. These golden yellow flowers are a beacon of joy for pollinators. They also make perfect cut flowers for the home!

Lavender ‘Munstead’

A versatile, dwarf shrub. These fragrant Lavender bushes can be enjoyed en-masse as ground cover or as container centrepieces. A well-loved plant by pollinators.

Echinacea ‘Milkshake

Otherwise known as Coneflowers, Echinacea are fantastic perennials. This creamy white variety blooms with amazing pom pom-like double flowers. Irresistible to butterflies.

Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’

An award-winning summer favourite. These cheery daisy-like flowers are a must-have for any wildlife garden. Great for borders and pots.

2. Plant Bird-Friendly Shrubs

Some shrubs can provide a diversity of food and shelter that will certainly attract a range of birds, such as greenfinches. Plant these wildlife-friendly shrubs and watch as the number of feathered visitors in your garden will grow each year.

Pyracantha ‘Golden Charmer’

A mesmerising shrub. With nectar-rich flowers in the spring and golden berries in the autumn, ‘Golden Charmer’ is a haven for a myriad of wildlife.

Chokeberry

A versatile fruiting shrub. With clusters of fragrant Spring blooms followed by blackberry clusters in the Autumn, this shrub provides fantastic multi-seasonal interest.

Beautyberry

Otherwise known as Callicarpa, this eye-catching shrub provides endless interest with their lilac summer flowers followed by vibrant metallic-like berries in the autumn. A valuable food source for birds.

Partridge Berry

Also known as Checkerberry, this dwarf, evergreen shrub is perfect for borders or containers. Their bright pink-red berries are perfect for attracting birds to the garden.

3. Create a Space for Shelter

A pristine lawn may look pretty but they do nothing for nature. Add a pile of old rocks, bricks, and tiles in a quiet corner of your garden to provide a sanctuary for many species of insects and small mammals and encourage biodiversity.

4. Set up Bird Feeders

No matter what season we’re in, a bird seed feeder is such a quick and easy way to help your local feathered friends. If you’re feeling crafty, you can build your own from scratch. Try upcycling food tins or plastic bottles (a great activity for kids!), then pile on a variety of food (peanuts, seeds or fat balls) to give your gardens a boost of life.

5. Add a Water Feature

Liven up any dull space in the garden with a pond. A small, ornamental pond is easy to build yourself and is a great way to attract a variety of wildlife creatures to the garden. If you don’t have the space to build a pond, large pots or upturned bins work too!

6. Start Composting

Not only is composting a great way to lower your household waste, it is also an excellent source of food for wildlife! The community of minibeasts who live among the waste help the decaying process, and in turn, these beasts are a delicious food source for hedgehogs and other animals.

What can i compost?

  • Grass cuttings and dead leaves

Top 10 Summer Bedding Plants

May is the perfect time to think about your summer bedding plants for a stunning display of colour all summer long. They’ll lift the garden, adding vivid highlights of colour, and are particularly useful when it comes to the later days of August when the gardens often look tired.

Our bedding range features hundreds of summer bedding varieties, from the much loved, popular varieties to some unique and unusual types that are certain to add something a little different to your garden. For this summer, we’ve specially selected J Parker’s Top 10 bedding plants to create a summer garden bursting with life and vibrancy!

Top 10….

Petunia

One of the most popular flowers for summer bedding in the garden; Petunias are well known as one of the easiest annual flowers to grow and provide long-term colour to brighten up any garden beds or borders.

Facts:
  • Native to South America; genus of about 35 species of flowering plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
  • Introduced to Europe in the 19th century, where it gained popularity.
  • There are 4 main types of Petunias: grandiflora, hedgiflora, multiflora and milliflora.

Petunia Night Sky

Check out the world’s first speckled flowering Petunia. This Petunia is guaranteed to twinkle in your beds and borders with their white speckled, deep blue petals, resembling stars in the night sky. Planted in summer beds, Petunia Night sky will provide a unique avalanche of vibrant colour.

Calibrachoa

These sun-loving annuals are ideal for the summer garden landscape. These extremely vigorous flowers grow at an amazing rate and to add a touch of class to the garden when planted along walkways.

Facts:
  • Like Petunias, they are native to South America and they are a genus of plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.
  • Commonly known as Million Bells or Trailing Petunias.
  • Evergreen, short-lived perennials with small petunia-type flowers.

Calibrachoa Blueberry Scone

A new addition to our Calibrachoa range. Blueberry Scone produces blue, yellow and purple shaded blooms in an ever-changing display that will flower all summer long. Their bicolour flowers change as a response to the light, climate and weather conditions for a magical summer display.

Verbena

If you’re searching for long lasting blooms that perform even during the hottest days of summer, consider the Verbena flower. These pollinator-friendly plants will not only bring bees and butterflies to the garden, their exquisite, showy flower heads will create a real showcase of beauty in the summer garden.

Facts:
  • Native to North and South America, as well as Asia.
  • Typically found in tropical and subtropical habitats.
  • Commonly known as ‘vervain’.

Verbena Endurascape Purple

Long flowering, mildew resistant and tolerant of adverse weather conditions, this beautiful creeping Verbena makes a fantastic addition to any summer garden. This variety’s deep purple blooms make a real statement as a bedding plant.

Lobelia

Lobelia produce a beautiful abundance of flowering during the summer months that are filled with vibrant contrasting blooms in a variation of bright colours. These plants are perfect for edging around your stunning summer garden borders and pathways.

Facts:
  • Native to nearly all the temperate and warmer regions of the world.
  • Genus of the family Lobeliaceae, which is compromised of 415 species.

 

Lobelia California Dark Blue Eye

Versatile and easy to grow, Lobelia are a popular choice for long-lasting summer flowers. Producing masses of dainty bright blue flowers they will make a beautiful addition to the edges of borders, bedding and pathways if you want a summer garden bursting with life.

Osteospermum

These spectacular sun-loving, daisy-like plants are guaranteed to liven up your summer bedding for a bright and cheerful display of vibrant blooms.

Facts:
  • Native to Africa.
  • Genus of flowering plants belonging to the Calenduleae.
  • They are also known as daisybushes or African daisies.

Osteospermum 3D Lemon Ice

This amazing double African daisy produces stunning white petals that surround a prominent creamy yellow centre. This unique variety open all day and night, for beautiful 24 hour blooms. Their larger than standard pom-pom flowers create a stand out show in beds and borders.

Rudbeckia

One of our favourite summer flowering perennials has to be Rudbeckia. These beautiful pollinator-friendly plants are a great way to add life to your garden and are a beautiful, modern addition to the back of summer borders.

Facts:
  • Native to both damp woodlands and dry prairies in North America.
  • They have several common names, among which are: Black-eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, and Yellow Ox Eye.
  • Rudbeckia is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and has similar daisy-like flowers.

Rudbeckia Goldstrum

This multi award winning Coneflower is a firm favourite among gardeners. Their masses of compact, yellow daisy-like flowers are guaranteed to bring the warmth of the summer sunshine to your beds and borders.

Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)

Looking for a flower that has multiple uses in the garden, smells great, attracts pollinators and comes in scads of colors? Then you should be planting snapdragons. Their typical compact nature and bright colours make the perfect candidate for beautiful summer borders.

Facts:
  • Native to the Mediterranean region and parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Their genus name Antirrhinum comes from the Greek words anti meaning like and rhin meaning nose or snout, which describes the shape of the flowers.
  • There are approximately 40 different species of Snapdragons.

Antirrhinum Antirinca Rose

These stunning pastel pink flowers will add a splash of colour to your garden borders. Their highly fragrant, uniquely shaped blooms will add beauty with their sight and smell and will become a highlight of the summer garden.

Helichrysum

Commonly known as the everlasting flower, these beautiful annuals will marvel in the summer garden from June until the first frost. Their compact nature and range of bold, bright colours will provide a rainbow of beauty in the summer border.

Facts:
  • Native to Africa, Madagascar, Australasia and Eurasia.
  • Flowering plant of the daisy family Asteraceae.
  • Grows on dry, rocky ground around the Mediterranean.

Helichrysum Nevada Gold

This stunning plant produces prolific flowering blooms in a beautiful golden yellow, resembling little rays of sunshine. Otherwise known as the everlasting flower, this compact variety would make the star of any summer border.

Coleus

This bushy, evergreen perennial comes in a wide range of magnificent colour and forms, so there is something for every garden. Their unusual and vibrant foliage will make a true sight to behold in the summer border.

Facts:
  • Native to southeast Asia and Australia.
  • Genus of flowering plants in the Lamiaceae family.
  • Otherwise known as Painted Nettle or Flame Nettle.

Dwarf Coleus Wizard Mixed

This mixture of compact and bushy dwarf Coleus will produce the most spectacular carpet of rich and well defined foliage, which will add an explosion of colour during the summer months. This mix of vibrant foliage will thrive in a sunny border display.

Dianthus

Otherwise known as ‘Pinks’, Dianthus are prized plants for their delicious, spicy fragrance that will fill the summer garden with stunning sights and smells and will look amazing as part of a summer border display.

Facts:
  • Native to Europe, Asia and Africa.
  • Genus of flowering plant in the Caryophyllaceae family, the carnation family.
  • Dianthus include 300 species of perennial plants.

Dianthus deltoides Pink Carpet

This dwarf-growing perennial is perfect for adding a touch of dimension and colour to the border that is quite simply impossible to ignore. Their lilac pink flowers are ideal for creating a carpet of summer colour.

Bedding Ideas

Have fun with colour and texture. If you’re feeling a little bit wild, try a dramatic combination of purple, reds and blues. Or tone things down a little with pinks and whites. Mix things up and see what happens! If you don’t like the results, or they’re not quite what you wanted to achieve, no problem. It’s really easy to try again – or go for something completely different.

suggestions:

Don’t think you have to stick with straight lines and symmetrical patterns if it doesn’t suit your space or the style of the rest of your garden. Informal planting is a case of anything goes. Why not try a cottage garden look that’s charmingly higgledy-piggledy?

Suggestions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carpet bedding is a technique that produces the effect of a complete carpet of a mixture or a single colour scheme. This bedding style is the perfect way of creating a minimal yet bold statement with your summer bedding.

Suggestions:

August Plant of the Month – Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spire

JOBS-AUG

Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spire

(Russian Sage)

 

perovskia-atriplicifolia-Blue-Spire-in-garden

These spectacular plants, also known as Russian Sage are incredibly popular right now, and it’s easy to see why.

Perovskia-atriplicifolia-Blue-Spire-with-bee

 

Producing impressive tall spires of silvery leaves topped with spikes of gorgeous, tiny, violet purple bell-shaped flowers bloom in late summer. Loved by butterflies and bees, it makes a great cut flower with its lovely scent, which is a mixture of sage and lavender. Perovskia atriplicifolia Blue Spire holds an RHS Award of Garden Merit.

 

POTM-AGM

 

Native to central Asia, Russian Sage’s natural habitat is on dry plains and they are natural sun lovers. They are deciduous shrubs which, once established, are hassle free, drought tolerant (in fact they prefer it) and need an annual pruning in spring.

Planting

POTM-Planting

Perovskia will grow well in any soils, even poor or chalky, as long as they get really good drainage, water-logging will lead to root rot. They like to be in full sun and can withstand seaside air.

Prune hard annually in early to mid-spring for a healthy plant and better flowers that year. If you don’t they will come back week and floppy and generally be an untidy mess.

Cut back previous years flowering stems to within one or two buds of the older woody framework. Remove thin, weak and damaged growth. Then mulch and feed. For the first year keep them moist but not soggy to get them established. In following years they will withstand significant neglect!

They are best planted out in autumn when dormant – if you buy one that is in leaf in the spring be sure it hasn’t been growing in a poly tunnel as it may struggle when you expose it to the elements in your garden.

Perovskia-Little-Spire

Companion planting

Russian sage is mainly used as an ornamental plant and is pretty versatile for pairing with lots of late summer ornamental grasses and perennials. You can create a really powerful display planting near other silver leafed perennials, near a lavender bush for example, and as both are bee magnets they are a great choice for wildlife friendly gardens. Tall bright coloured perennials will also look great with it in a mixed border, for examples look at Geums, Rudbeckia and Helenium to name a few!

You can also try under-planting with spring bulbs, such as Tulips or Alliums, as they will do well at hiding the bulbs foliage as it dies off in the summer.