In order to encourage birds and other wildlife to visit your garden, why not try leaving a small section of it to nature and also supply some wild bird food? Here are some ideas.
Goldfinches love teasel. Identified by its pink and purple flowers, spiny heads and prickly stems, teasel flowers in late spring or sometimes slightly earlier. They are bi-annual and easily self-setting once well established.
The famous yellow-flowered dandelion is a favourite. If not devoured by the birds, this hardy little plant will transform into a beautiful silver halo of seeds to be scattered far and wide by the wind.
Found commonly at roadsides and paths where the soil is compacted, greater plantain, or rats’ tails, can be recognised by the long spikes on which the seeds grow. Greater plantain is also often seen growing among crops and grasslands.
Apart from their medicinal benefits, these fragrant plants are great for attracting a whole host of different wildlife. Birds eat the seeds they produce, and it was recently discovered that by lining their nests with it, blue tits are able to provide a sterile, bacteria-free environment for their young. As such, the plant has been linked to an increased survival rate for these chicks.
This is a popular climbing plant and, given the right pruning, can become very dense. This makes honeysuckle a perfect nest site and a great place for birds to roost overnight. Honeysuckle flowers are sweet-smelling and attract bees, butterflies and various types of moth. The juicy berries produced are enjoyed by warblers, thrushes and bullfinches.
Attractive to finches, honesty is recognised by its unique oval-shaped, semi-transparent, silvery seed heads.
A great choice for nature gardens, evening primrose, or evening star as it is also known, draws bees, butterflies and moths. The yellow flowers open in the evenings only, hence its name.
Groundsel can be found in hedgerows and verges and is loved by sparrows and finches. This plant would make a great addition to any garden to supplement wild bird food and other scraps supplied.
This is a truly lovely plant. The flowers are very colourful and the resulting seeds are popular with tits, sparrows and finches. Unfortunately, there has been a steady decline and it is now considered endangered ? it can be found at just three sites in the UK.