Spent this weekend doing Gillian's garden as part of creating wildlife corridors from Beddington Farmlands into Hackbridge. Gardens are increasingly important areas for wildlife (especially considering the decline in farmland ecosystems due to intensive agriculture). As Beddington Farmlands is an urban nature reserve one exciting opportunity is to create green corridors so that the adjacent built environment is part of that reserve- proving that people and wildlife can co-exist and thrive.
In order to tackle the unpopular concept of a wildlife gardens being untidy and impractical we have come up with some designs that are comprised of insect and bird attracting plants (Pyracantha, Berberis, Cotoneaster, Holly, Rowan, Sedum, Knapweed, Golden Rods etc) and mixed them up with some ornamental and architectural plants (Eunoymous, Dogwood, Hebe, Delpheniums) with spring bulbs and picked a selection for colour all year round. With a shrub dominance the maintenance will be minimum and we have reduced the use of annuals to a very small area so that the garden is largely self managing. Also totally organic.
More wildlife gardening and restoration stuff here: