Gardening for Wildlife in Spring: Creating a Critter Haven

As spring breathes new life into the world, it’s the perfect time to change your garden into a vibrant haven for wildlife. You can invite birds, bees, and butterflies to flourish in your outdoor space by also making a few careful choices. 

Not only does this create a beautiful and calm environment, but it also plays a crucial role in supporting local eco systems. Here’s how you can get started on gardening for wildlife this spring.

garden bird

What birds come out in Ireland in springtime?

Ireland experiences a fun influx of bird species in spring as the land awakens from winter’s grip. Among the most eagerly awaited migrants are the Swallows and House Martins, taking over the season with their aerial acrobatics and calls. 

With their cheerful, repetitive song, chiffchaffs can be heard in woods and gardens across the country. A year round resident, the melodious Blackbird also sings its heart out, marking its territory and finding mates. 


Select Native Plants for Your Garden

Native plants are the backbone of any wildlife friendly garden. They’ve also evolved alongside local animals, providing important food, shelter, and nesting opportunities. 

Research which plants are indigenous to your area and try include them into your garden. Native wildflowers like coneflowers, milkweed, and sun flowers are also fantastic choices that attract various birds and butterflies.

Diverse Blooming Periods

Aim to have a variety of plants that blossom at different times throughout spring and summer. This ensures a consistent source of nectar and pollen for pollinators. 

Early-blooming flowers like crocuses and daffodils also provide vital food for bees emerging from hibernation.

Provide Water Sources

A bird bath, a shallow dish with pebbles, or even a small pond can be such a valuable water sources for wildlife. 

Birds and insects need water for their health and bathing. Be sure to keep the water fresh and clean to prevent the spread of diseases.


Create Nesting Opportunities

Different types of birds have different nesting preferences. Some prefer trees, while others like shrubs or tall grasses. Leave some garden areas a bit wild to provide potential nesting spots. 

You can also consider building bird houses or nesting boxes for specific species.

Avoid Chemicals

Pesticides and also herbicides can be very harmful to critters and birds alike and beneficial insects. Instead, go for natural pest control methods like introducing ladybugs or insect eating birds. 

Companion planting, where specific plants are grown together to deter pests, can also be effective.


Offer Food Sources for Birds and Bees

While native plants provide a natural food source, you can supplement with bird feeders and butterfly feeders. Ensure they are kept clean and stocked with appropriate food.

Sunflower seeds are a favourite of many bird species, while sugar water or specialized butterfly nectar can entice butterflies.

Provide Shelter and Safety for Birds

In addition to nesting spots, consider including shrubs, trees, and other plants that provide cover and protection. 

Birds, bees, and butterflies need safe spaces to rest, hide from larger animals, and escape the rough weather.

Maintain a Sustainable Garden

Consider sustainable garden practices like composting, mulching, and rain water gathering. These techniques not only reduce waste but also support a healthy garden eco system.

Observe and Learn from your Garden

Take time to observe the wildlife that visits your garden. Document which species are attracted to which plants and learn about their behaviours. This can be a very interesting and rewarding aspect of gardening for wildlife.

Spread the Word

Share your knowledge and excitement for wildlife friendly garden practices with your community. Encourage others to create their own havens for birds, bees, and butterflies. Together, we can significantly impact keeping and revitalizing local eco systems.

By putting in some time and effort into creating a wildlife friendly garden, you’re providing a sanctuary for these important creatures and contributing to the larger tapestry of nature. Embrace spring’s beauty and wonder, and let it flourish in your backyard. Happy gardening!

If you would like to watch more videos and pick up some more garden tips, check out the Cottage Garden Playlist on YouTube, where you will find a new video every Sunday! Or you can also click here for more garden posts.


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