• Houzz_Wildlife1

There are a number of quick and cheap ways to invite birds, butterflies and small animals into your garden, whatever its size. Try a few of these ideas for creating a wildlife haven in a little garden and then just wait for your guests to arrive!

Build an insect hotel. Possibly the simplest way to encourage mini beasts into your garden and increase its biodiversity is to build (or buy) an insect hotel. At its very basic, this can be a cluster of small bamboo canes or hollow branches grouped together inside a frame, and at its most elaborate, it can be a multiroom structure with space for a wide variety of creepy crawlies.

Besides making your garden more insect-friendly, insect hotels can be interesting features in their own right, plus they make a great DIY project for children.

Make use of vertical space. If ground space is limited, don’t forget about your vertical space. There are plenty of ways to encourage winged and crawling visitors into an urban garden via a wall. This patchwork insect hotel is a great example of how to utilize a fence with a wall-hung design.

You could also transform a fence into a “living wall,” or fashion a simple vertical garden by fixing wall-mounted planters to a wall and filling them with pollen-rich flowers to entice bees and butterflies.

Provide a pollen source. Once your insect palace is in place, you’ll want to encourage insects into your garden. To do this, you’ll need to provide a steady source of pollen for as long as possible. You don’t need acres of space — you can grow many bee- and insect-friendly plants in patio pots and even in window boxes.

The key to success is to choose a good rotation of plants that will flower throughout the year, thereby providing an ongoing supply of pollen and nectar.

Supplement their dinner. To encourage and support birds in your garden, it’s important to offer supplementary food during autumn and winter. This is easy to do in a garden of any size.

Place your bird feeders…