Many beneficial garden insects, such as ladybugs and ground beetles, struggle to find habitats in our neat gardens. Consider creating an attractive wildlife wall to lure them in and keep them happy.
- Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
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When to Make: Spring or summer
At Its Best: Winter
Time to Complete: 4 hours
- Sedum or Sempervivum plants
- bricks (with holes in them)
- small blocks of wood, drilled with different sized holes
- roof tiles
- sheets of plywood or planks of wood
- straw, corrugated cardboard, slate chippings, bamboo canes, clumps of moss, twigs
Construct the Wall
In a quiet area of the garden, make a layer of bricks and tiles, leaving plenty of gaps. Place plywood or planks of wood on top and then add another layer of bricks and tiles. Top the structure off with the roof tiles, to keep excess moisture out.
Stuff the Gaps
Cut the bamboo canes into short lengths and pack them into gaps to make homes for solitary bees. Roll up corrugated cardboard to create laying sites for ladybirds. Moss, slate chippings, straw and twigs pushed into the other holes will be colonized by many different garden insects. Plant the top with Sedum or Sempervivum to create a living roof.
Your wildlife wall, once built, should be left alone; the more established (and decrepit) it becomes, the better it will be for wildlife, so don't be tempted to disturb it. However, you may need to occasionally restore some of the materials, particularly those such as straw that may be taken away as nest-building materials by birds.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited