Creating a buzz in your back garden; Homes & Gardens WE all have fond memories of hazy summer afternoons relaxing in the garden with the lawn freshly mowed and the borders lovingly tended, but how often do we stop and consider the other workers in the garden? ANN EVANS takes a closer look at how we can encourage more butterflies and bees into our gardens.
MOTHER Nature has provided a host of smaller garden allies.
Insects such as ladybirds and lacewings work tirelessly naturally cleansing our precious blooms and shrubs of unwanted aphids. But there's another very important garden visitor who has been sorely neglected recently - the humble bee.
Worryingly, our bees are in a drastic decline and we need to act now before it's too late.
Twenty-five per cent of our wild bees are on the Red Data Book list of endangered species.
There are various reasons as to why there has been such a decline - intensive farming methods, loss of hedgerows and traditional hay meadows, for example, all mean that the bees and other wildlife, are losing their natural habitats.
Similarly, butterflies and moths are also disappearing rapidly. As the most fragile of our garden visitors they also pollinate our wild plants and crops, ensuring the successful production of seeds and fruits, which is all so vital to maintaining a healthy eco-system.
Sadly, three out of four species of butterfly are decreasing and two thirds of common, larger moths are also decreasing.
We can all help, however. One way is to leave a section of garden to run wild. Not only will this give a quaint cottage garden appearance, but will encourage a dazzling display of butterflies and moths such as the small tortoiseshell, peacock and red admiral.
Planting the sort of flowers that bees and butterflies love will also boost their numbers.
BUGS' LIFE... Keep bees and butterflies happy by making your garden a haven for insects and wildlife.