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Helping garden wildlife through the winter

With the cold of winter coming on, the wildlife in your garden needs all the help they can get.  There are a few things that you can do (or not do) in order to help wildlife cope with the change of season. Give tables and bird feeders a thorough cleaning with scrub brushes and plenty of soap and water because wildlife need clean places to eat and loiter.

Birds and other wildlife need to take cover and find shelter in trees and scrub.  Plants like hawthorn, honeysuckle, and blackthorn provide food and shelter for wildlife.  Don’t bother with making tidy.  Leave things like deadwood, seed heads, and spent foliage around to help amphibians, birds, and insects.

Make sure that there are fresh water sources.  Water is critical for all living things to survive.

When putting out food for birds avoid chicken fat, uncooked rice, and bread.  Instead, feed the birds nuts, berries, and insects to keep them healthy and strong.

Perfumed flowers lead birds to life sustaining nectar.  Viburnum, broom, lavender, and hebe are good food-supplying plants. Birdhouses supply shelter and cover for our winged friends while allowing us to enjoy their sustained presence in the garden.

Most of all don’t forget that winter in your garden can be just as enjoyable as any other season.  Just because it will be cold, it is no excuse to ignore your wildlife friends or your garden space.

Enjoy an active and rewarding time in your garden, even after the weather becomes chilled.


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