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  Wildflowers.ie
Handing on
our Heritage

Wild Native
seed, plants 
and
seed mixtures, 
applying
25 years+
experience

A Wildlife Garden

Whatever the species you wish to attract the simple rule is: Plant the food source associated with the species and plant lots of it, using early, mid and late season varieties if available.  Also plant what is locally present in gardens so flocks of birds will visit the whole area and thus stay in your garden longer.  What few people realise is that in winter it takes more energy for birds to fly than to stay, so they stay where the food is, and if there is not enough in a garden they will not visit at all.  But if they do visit then make it worthwhile, provide water, seeds, seed heads, artificial feed and have lots of mulch for birds to scratch in as some eat insects only.
A Wildlife garden attracts various forms of wildlife, here are some of our tips:

Hedgehogs:

Hedgehogs eat snails, slugs and insects and are beneficial to the garden.
Hedgehogs can be attracted into a garden provided there is access. Therefore walls, fences, hedges and boundaries should have access created. simply knock out a block at floor level, cut a hole in a fence or provide some shelter at the base of a hedge. Hedgehogs will freely roam from garden to garden and you might encourage your neighbours to create the same kind of access. When burning a bonfire watch out that hedgehogs are not hibernating under piles of sticks, grass or leaves. 

Dragonflies and Mayflies

Will be attracted to any stagnant water. However to survive in your garden they need a supply of fresh water. Preferably it should overhung by bushes to create shade. The water should have a shallow and a deep end and grassy like plants such as iris and bulrush should grow out of the pond margin. 

Hoverflies

Hoverflies are essential in any wildlife garden to keep white, black and greenfly (aphids) in check. Most of our wildflowers attract hoverflies, however corn marigolds is one of the very best.

Ladybirds

Ladybirds are very beneficial to the garden and they need conifers to over winter in if they are to be in the garden when the aphids attack in the early spring. Children can have great fun running ladybird races. Put two ladybirds at the bottom of a plank, tilt the plank upwards and the ladybirds will run to the top. First up wins!

Foxes, Badgers and Large Mammals

Its difficult to create the conditions to attract large mammals into the garden. However if they are in the area they may visit as part of their routine. Shelter from shrubs and trees, screening such as hedgerows and fresh water will make the garden more attractive. With large mammals, the rule is to watch from a distance, keep dogs and cats away during the critical visiting times of early morning and late evening and don't block their access routes or pathways.

Birds

So much is written about birds that we feel we don't need to include details on our site -  Design By Nature produce a special seed mixture for feeding wild birds, designed to be left uncut during winter so that the birds search the seed heads for seed. Our belief is that wild birds should be attracted to the garden to feed on seed heads and to scratch in mulches and only in severe weather should they be fed from proprietary nut feeders. Our wild flower species are species whose seed heads contain seeds during the winter. Birds will visit these plants as they would in the wild and search out those seeds. This mixture should not be cut until Spring.

Butterflies

Butterflies are attracted to flowers for their nectar. Many DBN wild flowers attract butterflies -  Butterfly attracting wild flowers should be planted in the sun in open, sheltered situations where possible. The exception being wetland species.

Our Butterfly Mixture contains species which will attract most common butterflies and a few rarer species is locally present. 

Additional species to plant for butterflies: Buddleia, Iceplant (sedum spectabile), Hebes, Michaelmas daisy, Nasturtium, Brambles, Stinging nettle, watercress, Buckthorn and Alder buckthorn, blackthorn or Sloe, Honesty and Sweet Rocket, Poa annua, Festuca glauca, Cocksfoot grass (Uncut), and surprisingly the Common Dock Weed. Shrubs include Ivy for Red Admirals in winter. Broom and Gorse, Bilberry and Oak,

 

Butterfly attracting meadows should be maintained in the following way:

1. To encourage a long summer season of nectar producing flowers, cut one half of the meadow after 21st July. So that it re-flowers well into September.

2. Try to establish bold clumps of flowers so that it will be worth the trouble for a butterfly to visit your garden. 
Remember wild birds and butterflies have such short lives and they will travel many miles - why should we disappoint them when they arrive by presenting them with one flower

Moths

Moths are generally attracted to white flowers at night. While they do eat clothes and cause a nuisance in the household, moths and their caterpillars are an essential part of the food chain in a wildlife garden. 

Creepy Crawlies

Earwigs, beetles, wasps, ants, spiders, centipedes and millipedes are all part of the wildlife garden. Without them a major source of food would be missing in the garden as they are eaten by birds and mammals. To encourage creepy crawlies, the following are our recommendations:

To create hibernation areas filled with dry hollow sticks. (Sticks can be cut from species such as Alexanders, Cow Parsley, Parsnip, Carrot and Angelica)

Always have a supply of water.

Somewhere in the garden create a no-go area where you do not clean to allow for breeding and hatching of insects.

In hot sunny exposed gardens try to create sheltered areas rapidly.

Don't use chemicals around the garden, especially down the back of the garden in the wilder spots. Chemicals should be used as a barrier around the house and away from the reach of children or pets. Garden pests are an essential part of the food chain.

Slugs

Design By Nature practices the following wildlife gardening technique to avoid the damage done by slugs. We raise all our seedlings in beds near the house and we surround only those beds with slug killer (You can get environmentally friendly slug killers) Seedling that are raised near the house in nursery beds can then be transplanted into well prepared beds to grow on. As the plants are hardy and over the four leaf stage, which is when they are most vulnerable to slug attack. 

If your large plants are being attacked by slugs, we suggest the following :

1. You don't have enough food material for slugs and snails in your garden. Plant much more of the stuff that they like to eat in your area. 

2. Down the bottom of the garden where you want to keep the slugs, make sure there are species such as ivy to attract snails to the bottom of the garden.

3. You can never rid a garden of slugs no matter how hard you try, therefore the aim is to limit what they will eat by keeping them down the garden to the wilder parts. By creating a lawn area between your most valuable plants such as Hostas, Dahlias, lettuce and other edibles, slugs will be less inclined to travel over large open spaces.
 

 

 

Sandro's Famous Wildflower Seeds
Handing On Our Heritage
Hand picked quality perennials

Mr. Sandro Cafolla t/a   
Design By Nature (Ire) 
Monavea, Carlow, Ireland. 
Eircode
R93 T289

  Great Irish Horticulture 
Vat No : IE 3656298P 
Business Reg: 109182
EU Plant Health Pass:
EUPP/IRL/DAFF/2684.

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