Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Plant For A Spring Spectacle

As we turn our backs on winter it’s time to focus on spring and if like me, you’re eager to see new leaf growth, flowers and fruits, Hedges Direct have a great selection of plants with spring interest to satisfy our impatience.

For those wanting features as soon as possible, species such as Blackthorn, Flowering Currant and Forsythia boast beautiful flowers early in the season, so early that new leaves haven’t started to appear yet! Gorse also produce early spring flowers, but being evergreen, its buttery yellow flowers stand out next to the spiky green leaves that remain year round.

The UK didn’t have a white Christmas but you can bring this stunning colour to your garden in spring as Dog Wood, Hawthorn, Pyracantha, Viburnum lantana, June Berry and Wild Cherry, all produce white flowers in different shapes and sizes.

Alternatively, brightly coloured flowers appear on Hypericum, Berberis, Purple Leaf Sand Cherry, Weigela and Potentilla. To get the most of your flowering plants, there are some great tips on pruning spring flowering shrubs in this short video from Gardener’s World Magazine.

You can also access fantastic spring colour with the long awaited new growth of Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, which offers beautiful displays of red glossy leaves.

Christen the season with catkins! These long, hanging fruits dangle from the branches of Alder, Hazel, Hornbeam and Willow, attracting a range of British birds and other wildlife to your garden.

The species mentioned above are just a handful of spring spectacles. We’ve included a list of our entire collection of plants that offer fantastic interest in spring below:

 

Love Your Wild Garden 2015

If you caught last night’s special episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden, aptly named Love Your Wild Garden, you will have seen Alan and the team visit Keech Hospice in Luton to create a stunning wildlife garden for the patients to enjoy.

With a 500m plot to transform, Alan and the team certainly had a challenge on their hands, but not one to shy away from hard work, Alan immersed himself in everything wildlife friendly, including a huge pond and insect hotels, to create a garden alive with the sound of buzzing bees and twittering birds.

Using a variety of bee friendly plants from our sister company, Bee Friendly Garden plants, Alan created huge circular gabions that would be a thriving hub of insect activity for both the adults and the children at the hospice to enjoy.

Bee friendly garden plantsBee friendly garden plants on LYG

Alan then used our instant mixed native hedging to create a boundary along the garden to give shelter from the wind. Instant hedging is a great way to achieve an established hedge unit without waiting for the plants to mature and native hedging is home to a huge variety of Britain’s wildlife species, providing both shelter and food year round.

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Many people believe that a wildlife friendly garden has to be filled with brambles, weeds and nettles, however Alan proves that a garden bursting with colour, fragrance and ornamental value is just as attractive to wildlife as it is to us.

The Love Your Garden team designed this garden with nature in mind and managed to create an outdoor space for the patients of Keech Hospice to enjoy, finding tranquillity as they immerse themselves in the presence of nature.

If you’re thinking of undertaking your own garden makeover, enter our #‎HDGetTheLook competition for the chance to win vouchers to help you on your way.

Watch the full wildlife special and catch up on any other episodes from this series of Love Your Garden that you may have missed on ITV player.

The benefits of Hedgerows

Hedgerows and hedges are an important feature in the British landscape and have been around for centuries, planted to divide the land into different fields and pens; marking the boundaries of farms and parishes and controlling livestock. Nowadays, hedges offer food and shelter for wildlife, provide historical and cultural links to the past and still act as boundaries and screens. However, recently they have become under threat from removal and poor management.

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Hedging plants are important for both humans and wildlife. In terms of humans, hedgerows support the healthy functioning of the ecosystems around us by regulating things such as air quality, water purification and pollination. Hedgerows, like all plants and trees, help to manage air quality through the production of oxygen and removal of harmful gases. This is especially important in urban areas where more pollutant gases are released into the atmosphere. Hedges that act as a barrier between farms and fields, not only help to control livestock, but can reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilisers and eroded soils from the fields reaching water streams. When planted densely, hedgerows can also lessen the impacts of flooding by increasing infiltration rates and slowing water flows.

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British w4439196300_83c7e616e7_zildlife benefits hugely from hedgerows, and with an estimated 73 million hedges and park trees across our landscape, it’s no surprise that they are the most widespread semi-natural habitat in the UK, providing food and shelter for a large variety of different invertebrates, birds and mammals. The loss of hedgerow trees, and lack of future management and replacement, may lead to a decline in certain wildlife if they cannot find flowers, berries and nuts to feed on or habitats to live in. As well as shelter and food, hedges also provide corridors for certain wildlife, su12672946815_b7df8b8cd2_zch as hedgehogs and mice, to safely move through landscapes from one habitat to another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woodland Trust is currently working to implement schemes and solutions to stop the decline in hedgerows and manage future growth more sustainably. Without this, there is the possibility of Britain losing a large part of its history and culture, and a huge number of wildlife losing both their homes and food supply.