There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in your garden with a drink of your choice while watching wildlife go about its business. If you plant some easy to maintain shrubs and flowers you'll not only reduce your workload, your plants will attract some amazing butterflies and birds during the day and at night the hedges will be rustling with hedgehogs.

Looking after the birds

It doesn't matter whether your garden is a small square in the middle of the city or a vast expanse of land in the countryside, you can never do too much to help the humble bird.

You can buy the perfect shrubs or rose bushes online from Ashridge Trees, these will make ideal nesting places and also give you plenty of colour once they bloom.

You can have hanging bird feeders or boxes fitted to trees or even the side of your property. These will not only keep them fed during the cold winter months, but will also allow them to start nesting when the spring begins. Always make sure that the feeders and water baths are constantly topped up, as explained in an article in the Express. You can buy bags of seed from most shops and any that drop onto the ground might even grow when the weather warms up.

Planting for bees and butterflies

Bee 2 (PD)

Most flowers, trees and crops across the world depend on bees for pollination and also for the production of honey. If you have enough space in your garden you can set aside a wild area where you can attract bees and butterflies by planting wildflower seeds to produce a small meadowland. Another productive way to do this is to grow your own herbs. Insects love marjoram flowers and you can also use them yourself when cooking. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) website has many great ideas for looking after wildlife in your garden.

Helping the invisible

Helping wildlife in your garden doesn't just mean looking after the animals and insects you see on a regular basis. If you make your own compost you will be helping various fungi and soil bacteria that are necessary for other animals to survive on. They are all part of the food chain, so must be catered for. You will also end up with the perfect feed for your flower beds once the mixture is ready.

Water features and ponds

If you decide that you would like some form of water feature in your garden you could always start the easy way by getting an old sink or large plastic container and placing it in a hole.

You will be surprised how much life will appear over the first few weeks or months. Local frogs will find their way to it and once you start to enjoy watching their comings and goings you could then build something larger. It's also good for wildlife if you lay out a rough rockery. You don't have to be exact – just leave a pile of slate and stones in the corner of your garden. Insects love cool and shady spaces.

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