Get wild about gardens

It’s turning out to be a busy half-term for the Plant Centre team as we get creative celebrating a week of wildlife into our gardens

This week in the Plant Centre we’re celebrating Wild About Gardens Week which aims to encourage wildlife into our gardens. This fabulous initiative between the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts and Hedgehog Street is in its third year and we’re hoping that with school half term bringing a flurry of visitors through our doors, many will leave inspired to help their local bugs and beasties this year.

Display of pollinator plantsHow to attract wildlife

One of the best ways that gardeners can help their local wildlife is to include pollinator-friendly plants, which flower at different times throughout the year, in their pots and borders. To show the variety of plants available, both myself and Alice have been busy putting together our own 'Perfect for Pollinators display'.

This includes well-known summer-flowering favourites:

  • Buddleja
  • Verbena
  • Leucanthemum

also winter flowering favourites and berry producers:

  • Sarcococca
  • Viburnum tinus
  • Mahonia
  • Ilex
  • Cotoneaster

and even a few plants which don’t readily come to mind as pollinator-friendly, but which do their bit all the same:

  • Pulmonaria
  • Chaenomeles
  • Parthenocissus

Hedgehog displayHelp for hedgehogs

Fiona too has been busy putting together a display for Wild About Gardens Week, with this one centred around the main theme of the event this year, which is to help hedgehogs (489kB pdf). Her lovely colourful display, complete with yards of artificial turf, includes a whole variety of wildlife products and is great for inspiring our younger half-term visitors.

More ways to encourage wildlife

Also proving to be more popular than ever is our bug hotel, which looks great at the moment surrounded by the blooms of the erigeron daisies I planted in spring. To help our customers make the most of our displays and take something away with them, we’ve got several information sheets around the Plant Centre, and available at the tills, which provide hints and tips on everything from building your own bug hotel, as well as bird and bat boxes, to attracting mammals to your garden, creating a wildflower meadow or growing wildlife friendly hedges.

My previous blogs will show you that I’m always excited to find wildlife in our Plant Centre (this week’s newest spot was a female pheasant in our fruit garden department!) and I’d love to think that our hard work pays off and we inspire our customers to get home and get creative helping all things wild in their gardens.

More information
Wild About Gardens Week
Encouraging wildlife into your garden
The Wildlife Trusts
Hedgehog Street

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