How to make your autumn garden wildlife-friendly

For happy insects and cheerful birds

When autumn rolls around and it starts to get cold and dark outside, do your bit and help the wildlife in your garden. Use plants to make yummy food and hidey holes for the animals you share the space with. It creates an enjoyable bustle in the garden, and will bring a host of grateful new friends. When you feel the outside temperature drop, it's the perfect time to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. The birds will drop by in the winter and, if you can get them to stay, they'll treat you to a concert in the spring.

How to make your autumn garden wildlife-friendly - Thomas Willmott | Unsplash

DIY: fat balls for the birds

You can buy ready-made seed balls for feeding the birds, but it’s much more fun to make them yourself. Find out how to make fun and tasty sunflower snacks for passing robins, tits and sparrows.

Happy bees

Bees desperately need our help, and we need theirs as well. Bee numbers are declining because we have fewer wildflowers and plants outdoors and there are harmful pesticides and diseases in the ecosystem. If the bees die out and can't pollinate our fruit and vegetable plants, we'll have a big problem on our hands. So do your bit and plant one of these bee-friendly plants in your garden. 

Zoological garden

Hedgehogs, toads, salamanders, butterflies and mice — before you know it, you’ve transformed your garden into a wildlife centre. Granted, they're not everyone's cup of tea, but not all small creatures have to be unwelcome visitors. Did you know that hedgehogs get rid of slugs, for example? Lend a helping hand where you can, but also allow nature do its thing. Read about how to attract animals to your garden, and gently encourage harmful ones and uninvited guests on their way.

Handy slug and snail tips

Slugs and snails are the sort of wildlife we could do without: they’re way too keen on nibbling our plants' young, fresh leaves. You can’t blame them for coming to visit though, so take a look at our six slug and snail-friendly tips for persuading them to move on.

Do you have any other wildlife-friendly garden tips? For instance, do you know how to make your own insect hotel? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #thejoyofplants.