Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Planting for wildlife

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Tuesday 4th January 2011, 13:58   #1
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
Planting for wildlife

I want to plant some flowers/small plants that are perennial and beneficial to insects (therefore beneficial to birds)
what species are best and
when do I plant flowers/plants that grow in summer?
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 6th January 2011, 12:44   #2
jpscloud
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: east cheshire
Posts: 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature__lover View Post
I want to plant some flowers/small plants that are perennial and beneficial to insects (therefore beneficial to birds)
what species are best and
when do I plant flowers/plants that grow in summer?
The answer to this is as long as the preverbial piece of string! If you're a starter with gardening for wildlife, you can't really go wrong with loads of herbs allowed to run to flower and seed in planters/tubs or in the ground if you have good enough ground.

I have sage, which is absolutely loved by bumble bees, rosemary, thyme, marjoram (honey bees and all kinds of insects love that, it's always covered) coriander (replanted through the summer), nasturtiums and mint. You can buy pots of rooted herbs in the supermarket for around 1.00 or so and these make great summer flowering plants when you pot them up in a bigger pot and leave them outside.

Some you have to replace each year and some will establish and thrive on their own. When you buy them depends on their own season but with most herbs you can plant them out when the frosts are over (mid May is my usual bet, but I sometimes risk it before then).

I would also consider a buddliea, they grow into quite large bushes but you cut them down annually. They are superb for butterflies, moths and bees. Growing sunflowers (multiheaded type is good) is usually rewarding as well - insects in summer and birds feed on the seed heads in winter.

There are tons of other native shrubs and trees that you could consider if you are looking for something permanent, but I've typed enough for one post!


P.S. I forgot to mention that nasturtiums usually attract white butterflies to lay eggs and produce lots of juicy caterpillars for the birds! Your nasturtiums end up a bit tatty but it's benefit all round :)

Last edited by jpscloud : Thursday 6th January 2011 at 12:48.
jpscloud is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 6th January 2011, 14:52   #3
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
thanks ever so much for the comment!
sorry my questions where on a very wide subject!
As for herbs, I only have a small rosemary bush, so must plant some other types, like you have suggested.
I love the idea of Buddliea , but don't know whether I've got enough room for it!
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 6th January 2011, 16:37   #4
jpscloud
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: east cheshire
Posts: 265
I'm not sure if birds do eat white butterfly caterpillars, but something certainly does. I grow mine in a sort of rockery area with a lot of ivy and some wild bramble, which is a great place for spiders (I see birds hunting them regularly) - maybe the spiders feast on the caterpillars!
jpscloud is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 3rd February 2011, 19:35   #5
AnnPat
Registered Member

 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: uk
Posts: 12,968
I planted lots of lavender around the garden and it has attracted lots of bees, butterflies and other insects. The biggest attraction in the garden is a holly tree, I found a seeding about 5 years ago and now all the birds love it. Its the first place they go when disturbed. Another popular plant is the cotoneaster full of red berries
AnnPat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 4th February 2011, 17:25   #6
cates
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: wales
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature__lover View Post
I want to plant some flowers/small plants that are perennial and beneficial to insects (therefore beneficial to birds)
what species are best and
when do I plant flowers/plants that grow in summer?
i'm a great believer of log piles and native shrubs such as hazel, blackthorn, willows etc. native willowherb is good for elephant hawkmoths, i once notice petunias, getting onto garden plants now, were attracting vast numbers of humming-bird hawkmoths. this really is a massive subject that i could write a book about.
cates is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 4th February 2011, 17:56   #7
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by cates View Post
i'm a great believer of log piles and native shrubs such as hazel, blackthorn, willows etc. native willowherb is good for elephant hawkmoths, i once notice petunias, getting onto garden plants now, were attracting vast numbers of humming-bird hawkmoths. this really is a massive subject that i could write a book about.
I have a big log pile in my garden and it's nice and damp with fungi growing on it. birds often pick it over for insects. frogs hibernate in it.

I agree with planting native plants too- the birds and wildlife in the UK will benefit from UK plants, and insects will prefer them too. I'm thinking of getting a few packets of 'native wildflower seeds' and and some native shrubs and plants to bulk everything out and give birds more cover.

I think I'm going to plant some holly - birds seem to love it and if I plant it beneath my feeders it will keep my cat from sitting underneath the feeder!
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th February 2011, 13:37   #8
Monahawk
Registered User
 
Monahawk's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Monaghan
Posts: 1,017
Blog Entries: 30
Some great ideas for wildlfe gardens here. Buddleia is a must if you want bees and butterflies. Native plantsmen/women can scoff but I think its a must for any wildlife minded gardner. They are easy to grow and grow fast [some do seed themselves about a bit so beware]. They can be planted anywhere so long as the ground is not saturated. They are hardy and will take alot of punishment from the elements. I find it a good idea to cut them back every two to three years usually towards the end of March. This will enhance new healthy growth. Don't be afraid, really cut them back not just take a few top shoots off. Batter them! They love it, honest.
Also consider mint. Invasive yes if not adequately contained, but a wonder plant for bees, flies and hoverflies. Also consider evening primrose and pot marigolds. They are free seeders but great for insects.
Enjoy the garden and the wildlife.

Si.
__________________
Skylark singing in the sun. Something told me she's the one. [Wilko Johnson]
Monahawk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st February 2011, 13:48   #9
cates
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: wales
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature__lover View Post
I have a big log pile in my garden and it's nice and damp with fungi growing on it. birds often pick it over for insects. frogs hibernate in it.

I agree with planting native plants too- the birds and wildlife in the UK will benefit from UK plants, and insects will prefer them too. I'm thinking of getting a few packets of 'native wildflower seeds' and and some native shrubs and plants to bulk everything out and give birds more cover.

I think I'm going to plant some holly - birds seem to love it and if I plant it beneath my feeders it will keep my cat from sitting underneath the feeder!
hi again,

where i lived in bedfordshire i had a wildlife garden an a half; it was so wild even the dog wouldn't go down there. unfortunately i had to leave it. the garden i have now is just a shadow of what i had there, but i am gradually planting it up; i have some young blackthorn, gorse and hazel, all locally acquired seeds and plants. i get marsh tits on the feeder, they were very rare until just a few years ago but now i'm seeing them every day. i feed the carrion crows nearly every day too; they're great characters. i've also got moles the lawn, not everyone's idea i don't suppose but i like them.
cates is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st February 2011, 14:00   #10
NoSpringChicken
Registered User
 
NoSpringChicken's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: East Norfolk
Posts: 26,136
We have a Hebe shrub in the garden. It is evergreen and provides brilliant cover for small birds and has purple flowers which are popular with bees, butterflies and other insects. They can be very large if you get the wrong variety, though. On a much smaller scale, Sedum is popular with butterflies.

Ron
NoSpringChicken is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 2011 2012 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 21st February 2011, 14:19   #11
coloz
Registered User
 
coloz's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: stoke on trent staffs
Posts: 527
I planted a fennel which gets covered in hover fly's and other insects in summer , then just cut it back late summer, ready for next year brill plant. Another good plant i have planted as been a Penstemon which flowers all through summer and the bees love it, same again just cut it back late summer, another favorite is honey suckle bees love the flowers in summer and the bullfinches love the berry's in winter .
coloz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st February 2011, 14:25   #12
AnnPat
Registered Member

 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: uk
Posts: 12,968
Last year we were watching the sparrows in our neighbour garden when they were spooked but they all flew into our holly tree. There must have been 50 and you could not see any. I keep getting plantlets coming up and if replanted in a better place can do well.
AnnPat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st February 2011, 14:59   #13
winkle
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Faversham, Kent
Posts: 190
Pulmunaria (Lungwort) is great for early flowers for early bees.

Comfrey is also great for bees & moths.

Marjoram / Origano great for almost any necter loving insect.

Pyrocathus is a good small and attractive shrub; lots of flowers in the spring, berries in the autumn and all year cover being evergreen. I've had Redwings on the berries and Blackbirds nest in mine.
winkle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 23rd February 2011, 17:26   #14
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
thanks so much everyone for your replies. jotting them down and will be visiting a garden centre this spring.

I'm very interested in planting some wildflower seeds in the beds. anyone planted cornflowers or poppies before?
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 23rd February 2011, 18:02   #15
winkle
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Faversham, Kent
Posts: 190
Both poppy and cornflower are annuals.

You'll probably get a good show in the first year, but they tend to fade away in future years unless you re-sow each year.
winkle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 23rd February 2011, 18:03   #16
AnnPat
Registered Member

 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: uk
Posts: 12,968
I have the yellow welsh poppy which self seeds and sprouts up all over the place. I had the stunning red poppy but the bad winter last year killed it off. Cornflowers are more the type to toss the seeds and they come up the same year. You will be stuck for choice but lavender attracts most insect life.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	butterflys 001.JPG
Views:	192
Size:	184.9 KB
ID:	309937  Click image for larger version

Name:	butterflys 013.JPG
Views:	206
Size:	132.7 KB
ID:	309938  
AnnPat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 10:06   #17
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
I know they're annuals but was hoping they'd self seed like in the wild.
I want a wild cottage-feel garden :)

nice photos ann, the butterflies love the lavender don't they!? It's a favourite of mine , with it's divine smell, so may have to plant some...
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 12:16   #18
winkle
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Faversham, Kent
Posts: 190
Yes, they will self seed, but you will need to dig the ground over as they both need the soil to be disturbed to germinate.
winkle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 12:42   #19
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by winkle View Post
Yes, they will self seed, but you will need to dig the ground over as they both need the soil to be disturbed to germinate.
thanks I didn't know that.
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 13:29   #20
Mary
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
Mary's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Warks
Posts: 1,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature__lover View Post
thanks so much everyone for your replies. jotting them down and will be visiting a garden centre this spring.

I'm very interested in planting some wildflower seeds in the beds. anyone planted cornflowers or poppies before?
I love field poppies,they are brilliant for insects, as are corncockle as well - also an annual. Hoverflies love them. I've planted a small butterfly border, mostly with perennials, but scatter annuals amongst them each year. By removing the seed pods through the summer, then leaving the last few to set seed, you can encourage them to flower for ages. Hope yours go well this year.
Mary is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 15:21   #21
Gary Polliard
songbird

 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: leechburg, pa.
Posts: 231
Plant native!!!!!!!! I listened to the local Pennsylvania game commission (first mistake) and bought russian olive they were selling along with non-native honeysuckle. Twenty years later I am cutting it all down and am told to poison the cut roots. Multi flora rose is a big problem in western Pa. another invasive plant with thorns that will cause much pain. Had my dog a Weimeraner out for a run and she ripped her ear open on one of the thorns. Bled a lot it was crazy. So study up on the native plants, get rid of the non-natives and build brush piles for cover, have a water source, and provide some nesting/roosting sites.
Gary Polliard is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 15:59   #22
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Polliard View Post
Plant native!!!!!!!! I listened to the local Pennsylvania game commission (first mistake) and bought russian olive they were selling along with non-native honeysuckle. Twenty years later I am cutting it all down and am told to poison the cut roots. Multi flora rose is a big problem in western Pa. another invasive plant with thorns that will cause much pain. Had my dog a Weimeraner out for a run and she ripped her ear open on one of the thorns. Bled a lot it was crazy. So study up on the native plants, get rid of the non-natives and build brush piles for cover, have a water source, and provide some nesting/roosting sites.
I agree that generally , native planting is best. although there are some exceptions, where non-native plants are beneficial to wildlife.
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 16:00   #23
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
planted some pansies out in the bed today , was just wondering, are they perennial or annual?
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 19:20   #24
AnnPat
Registered Member

 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: uk
Posts: 12,968
They are perennial and some can flower over winter time and others most of the year. They are very pretty and colourful. Gather the seeds and frow more.

Last edited by AnnPat : Thursday 24th February 2011 at 19:23.
AnnPat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 24th February 2011, 20:12   #25
Nature__lover
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 780
Blog Entries: 1
thanks ann that sounds perfect. have got big plans of what I want my garden to look like! it's only small but I'll make the most of the space and plant lots of flowers,shrubs and trees over the next few months. I want to plant a holly tree for the birds (berries and cover)
and in a bare space at the back i'm thinking of making a wildflower garden. I'm hoping to make it into a wildlife haven!
Nature__lover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wildlife photography article in BBC Wildlife Farnboro John Books, Magazines, Publications, Video & DVD 5 Saturday 8th May 2010 06:50
Reed planting for migratory birds (BBC News) BF Newsroom Live Bird News from around the World 0 Wednesday 10th September 2008 06:40
New Book: Wildlife Detective: A Life Fighting Wildlife Crime Martin Thomas Books, Magazines, Publications, Video & DVD 0 Monday 21st May 2007 15:09
Planting for Bullfinches 2spot Ladybird Gardening for Birds 6 Thursday 5th January 2006 21:08
Need suggestions for planting! Lady19thC Gardening for Birds 3 Sunday 6th March 2005 19:30

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.16399908 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 16:52.