Gardening for wildlife

A while ago, my husband’s mum got me a marvellous book, RSPB Gardening for Wildlife.  It is super handy and has lovely pictures.  I still refer to it quite often.  Anyway, if you are looking for this sort of thing, I recommend that you get a copy.

For my birthday this year, she got me this:

Insect Hotel!
Insect Hotel!

This is very exciting.  All the different sections are meant to house different insects (mason bees, ladybirds, butterflies, green lacewings, digger wasps and wild bees).  My children helped to decide where it should go (facing south, above knee height and out of the wind and rain); luckily, we had just the spot by the rose garden.  Also, as my children are Not Allowed to go in the rose garden, it might mean that anything that chooses to live there will escape poking.  They can see it though so I hope that we get some visitors over the winter.

I’ve been having a poke around in the wildflower meadow.  I took some nice photos with my husband’s camera but haven’t downloaded them yet – in the meantime, here are some taken with my iPhone.

Foxgloves and tall blue plant
Foxgloves and tall blue plant

Could the tall, blue plant be tufted vetch?  I didn’t think that got to be particularly tall but these are quite a bit taller than my foxgloves.

On one of the plants, I noticed this.

Weird metallic blob
Weird metallic blob

I have no idea what it is – I had thought a beetle but it’s actually a blob covered in other blobs.  Is something cool going to hatch out of it?

In another patch of the garden, I noticed a load of what looks like white rosebay willowherb.  I know that this attracts Elephant Hawkmoths but I must admit that I’ve been pulling a few out as they’d rather surrounded my hydrangeas and I really want my hydrangeas to survive (thrive? flower?).  I understand that the willowherbs tend to be quite invasive so I’m sure there are enough left for the moths.

White rosebay willowherb
White rosebay willowherb

2 thoughts on “Gardening for wildlife

  1. I’ve never seen white Rosebay Willowherb. It looks much nicer than the normal blue/purple colour!

    Not sure about the Vetch.. It can grow up to 3ft, I know that, we had some at one of the parks we looked after.

    And I think that metallic blob looks like a beetle with dew on it! B-)

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  2. Ah, it could be a beetle. I am not all that familiar with them as I grew up in the centre of a city.

    This “vetch” is about my height – I am 1.65m tall. I like it a lot – I don’t have to know what it is.

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