Gardening with Nature

At Colourful Splendour Garden Centres, we believe that time outdoors spent tending to our plants gives us priceless moments to reflect. Take time to relax in your garden. It's another form of creating and playing with colors.
“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?”

1. Grow bee and butterfly-friendly plants

Adult butterflies and bees will feed on almost any flower's nectar - as will most other pollinators.

Planting an array of plant species that flower at different stages of the year will maximise the chances of a variety of butterflies and other insects visiting your garden. 

The different shapes of flowers will attract different insects. The long, thin tubes of honeysuckle are particularly popular with butterflies, foxgloves and lavenders are great for bees. Flat flowers such as daisies will also attract these and a number of other insects.

Try to establish what butterfly and bee species are active in your area, and find out what plants attract them to your garden. Pop in and chat to our super friendly staff that can assist you!


2. Feed the birds

A seed feeder is a quick and simple way to make your garden more attractive to birds. If you're up for some DIY, you could try making a bird feeder out of a reused plastic bottle.

The type of food you put in feeders will affect the species visiting your garden. For example, mealworms are popular with insect eaters like sparrows. Alternatively, suet balls are a particularly good option for winter, when they need food packed with energy. 
If you set up a feeder, remember to clean it regularly.


3. Get the most from compost

Creating a compost heap in your garden from kitchen waste is a great way to reduce what goes to landfill and will create a minibeast haven. Minibeasts are small invertebrates such as millipedes, woodlice and spiders. These are an excellent source of food for other wildlife.

Worms help to create compost out of leaves and other organic material, and will likely wriggle their way into your compost heap. Spreading home-made compost on your garden will encourage worms wherever it spreads.  Worms improve soil drainage and transfer important nutrients to the surface.


4. Help the creatures of the night

Plenty of wildlife is out in your garden at night, even if you're not awake to see it.

Honeysuckle and evening primrose are night-blooming flowers that release their scents after dark, attracting pollinating insects. Bats are active at night and there are species and night-flying insects that make an attractive meal for the insectivores.

You can also help bats by reducing or removing artificial lighting from some areas of your garden. 

Consider adding a bat house to your garden.


5. Add water

Frogs are good pest controllers, feeding on a variety of invertebrates. 

Adding a small pond or waterfeature to your garden is a great way to keep these animals happy and may even attract dragonflies in summer when they're active. The insects that gather by water will also be popular with bats.

Ponds don't have to be big, but if you do set one up, make sure it has sloping sides so if other animals fall in, they can get out.

Adding watr plants will help oxygenate a pond and keep it and its inhabitants healthy. 

Instead of a pond, you could keep a shallow, sloping-sided dish filled with water in the garden for birds. This offers both fresh drinking water and a bath. You will need to keep the water topped up and refill the dish every so often to keep it fresh.


6. Create a woodpile and leave the leaf litter

Some animals, such as butterflies and wasps, use woodpiles as a place to hide and to hibernate through the colder months. You might even find worms, newts, frogs and toads sheltering between the logs, as well as a number of minibeasts.

Larger logs with the bark still attached work best, placed in an area that's neither constantly sunny nor always in the shade. Even a single log partially buried provides a good habitat.

In autumn, most gardens are carpeted with a layer of fallen leaves. Piles of leaf matter can be an attractive spot for hedgehogs to hibernate, keeping them warm and dry. It's best to not to tidy the leaves up in winter to avoid disturbing any hibernators.

Additionally, once leaves start to decay, they provide important nutrients for the soil. If you want the best chance of a green garden in summer, it's best to leave the leaves.  Mulch also protects against frost in winter and drought in summer, and encourages mycorrhizal fungi, which are important for plant nutrition.


7. Let things grow a little wild

Homeowners often go for paved patios, fake grass and over-manicured lawns, but sometimes just letting the grass grow a is exactly what wildlife needs. But you don't need to let it overwhelm you.

Create a variety of habitats in your garden by leaving some parts of your lawn unmown. Longer grass is a good spot for insects, including butterflies, to lay their eggs. You could try having longer grass with mowed paths or a clear area for picnics.

Longer grass provides shelter, creating a microclimate under the stalks. Not mowing also allows flowers to bloom, which helps bees. Yarrow is found in many lawns but needs more time than other plants before it flowers.

But having some mown areas is helpful for animals that feed on animals like worms.
Some wild plants can take over - what are often referred to as weeds - but these are an important part of the ecosystem. Dandelions are an excellent source of nectar for insects. Some caterpillars will only feed on plants such as nettles and thistles, so it's a good idea to keep some in the garden but to restrict them to a small area.