With the loss of so many countryside hedges over recent years, those planted in our gardens have become increasingly important in helping our native wildlife to survive – and with just a little planning even the smallest of hedges can become a major wildlife asset in your garden – and it will look wonderful too!
Careful selection of your plants will encourage the widest cross-section of wildlife – and if you provide wildlife with the protection, nest sites, safe ‘corridors’ and food sources that a hedge offers, you’ll reap the rewards as they deal with unwanted visitors to your garden, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see them too!
Who will visit?
All manner of creatures are attracted by hedges, here are just a few of those you might expect to see:
- Bees and hoverflies
- Moths and butterflies
- Earwigs, beetles and bugs
- Frogs and toads
- Garden snails, spiders and slugs
- Birds such as hedge sparrows, redwings, blackcaps
Our top tips for a wildlife hedge include:
Using more than one species of plant to ensure diversity of protective cover and food supplies.
Choosing hardy shrubs such as hawthorn, field maple and pyracantha which will make your hedge interesting to look at as well as attracting a wide range of insects and birds.
Growing plants such as violets, wood anemones, primroses and celandine along the bottom of your hedge to attract nectar-loving insects.
Trimming once a year – preferably in winter when plants (and wildlife!) are dormant – to an ‘A’ shape where the bottom of your hedge is slightly wider than the top. This will help keep it stable during any snow fall or strong winds.
Not being too tidy! Leaf litter and seed heads attract hedgehogs, birds, small mammals and insects.
And don’t worry if you already have a conifer hedge – these offer snug roosting sites for small birds on cold nights, places for insects such as ladybirds to hibernate, and nest sites for garden birds too – and you can always add wild roses and clematis to them to make them more attractive – for you and for wildlife!
Now is a great time to plant a new hedge, so if you’ve decided you want one but aren’t sure how to go about planting it then check out our guide here – and don’t forget you can use bare root plants or potted shrubs.
We have a great selection of plants for hedging in-store now, and if you need help or advice, our expert staff will be pleased to help!