Top Tips for Rewilding Your Garden!
What is rewilding?
Rewilding is an exciting and rewarding venture in taking this ever growing urban world we live in, and making parts of it what it once was; A living oasis for nature and wildlife. But while we may not have swathes of meadow to convert, we can, with a bit of careful thought, use rewilding principles to our own environment.
By rewilding your garden, balcony or window boxes you can help give native plants and animals the chance to create an environment that may have been lost to urban development.
Before you start it is important to take a good look at the area that's available to you. You may want to ask yourself questions such as What is already growing in your garden? What are the existing plants beneficial for? Do you have any insects or wildlife visitors come in regularly and where do they hide, nest, or feed?
Take a careful look and then think about the actions, so that you can plan where and how your rewilding can start.
Read on for a lovely little list of things you can do to help your outdoor space become wild again!
Stop Using Chemicals!
Our sometimes over manicured lawns and gardens can potentially cause more harm than good. The fertilizers and pesticides that some people use can damage and deplete the soil and can kill many more species than they intend to, including the billions of fungi, microbes and insects that can be found in the soil.
Fertilizers and pesticides may take down the weeds but they also harm many other species so please think twice about using these harmful products.
Rewild Your Lawn!
A lawn with tall grass and wildflowers can not only look beautiful to us humans, but it also looks like this to the insects, butterflies, bees, and birds, that live off and in it.
We mow our lawns as it creates a ‘neatness’ and feeling of home that is ingrained in our culture. For nature, it offers little benefits. Help your lawn shelter wildlife by letting it grow.
Choose Insect-Friendly Plants!
Providing food for pollinators will attract birds and other predators and create a thriving ecosystem in your backyard. Flowers also help stop weeds naturally by taking up the space in the soil. Another benefit of growing flowers is if you use them next to your vegetable plants as the insects can eat the flowers and leave the veggies for you!
It is always best to only grow what is native to the area, or at least closely related, i.e from a neighbouring country. Local plants provide the most nutrition and best benefits for local wildlife and thrive under the soil conditions in companion with other plants and species. In other words, they work well within the ecosystem. If you decide to plant native species, make sure they are of genuine native stock and sourced legally. Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions making them the best suited to your garden.
Have you ever scraped away the layer of branches, leaves, and moss that usually cover a forest floor? You will most likely uncover dark, rich earth with lots of life creeping around. Leaving piles of wood and leaves to rot in your outdoor space is the best thing you can do for a multitude of reasons: they offer habitat for little mammals, birds, invertebrates, fungi, and moss. They protect the soil from drying out by being exposed to direct sunlight and therefore help to retain water. When rotting, they provide organic matter and therefore a sustainable source of carbon compost.
Create a Compost Bin!
Natural compost is amazing for the soil and for planting, so instead of going out and buying a bag from the local garden centre, consider the DIY approach. You can buy or make a cheap compost bin and fill it with all the offcuts of trimmed plants, leaves, and also vegetable food waste from the kitchen.
Install Feeders and Nest Boxes!
Encourage birds into your garden with feeders, elevated water features (so they can only be accessed by birds and no four-legged predators like cats) and boxes to nest in. Install a bug box where native insects can lay their eggs. If you’re in an area with hedgehogs, you could also install a hedgehog hut. You can buy these online, or even make your own – a great and fun way to engage kids into gardening as well!
Bug hotels are also a modern gardener's favourite - a simple way to attract little guests to your garden.
Build a Pond!
If you have an area large enough, consider rewilding your garden with a water feature. A pond can provide habitat for a variety of creatures. It’s also a source of water for small mammals and birds.. You can start by creating your pond with as little as a bucket and a few aquatic plants.
Every action of ours can have an impact on the natural world beyond our garden. We hope that our tips help you to not just minimise your negative impact on the planet, but foster your connection with nature.
You can be sure that you can benefit as much as the flora and fauna around you by this wonderful mutual relationship you will be creating with the beings around you!
The Country Mouse Children's Nursery is an excellent nursery in Midhurst, 10 minutes from Petworth and 20 minutes from Chichester, with childcare places for 2 months-5 year olds. We can offer your child fabulous fun filled days of activities to help them learn and make lots of new friends. We have a beautiful large garden with brilliant outdoor learning. Please come and see us, our fantastic classrooms and our magical garden!...and our very special staff team.
Visit the Country Mouse Nursery Website at: www.thecountrymousenursery.co.uk