Most gardeners view themselves as nature lovers, with one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating and maintaining a garden lying in the feeling of closeness to nature. It often comes as a surprise to many, however, that their garden is an essential home to many species of wild animals. Some of the more obvious examples are colourful and highly apparent, but it is the army of countless unseen and commonly ignored wild occupants that form the most significant part of this intriguing hidden infrastructure.
Recent years have seen a growing awareness of the fragility of natural habitats, and this book sets out clearly why all the creatures that you may find lurking in the undergrowth have their part to play in the wellbeing of your garden, and why they should be encouraged and welcomed as part of your garden planning.
Clear and easy-to-follow instructions on a range of basic techniques - such as plant propagation, soil preparation, planting, creating new habitats and general maintenance - are backed up with advice on planning and designing, showing how we can successfully share our outdoor space with wildlife. In addition, the book shows how to encourage benign and beneficial garden species by feeding and providing shelter for them as well as how best to deal with the more problematic species that occasionally enter our gardens.
The book includes a comprehensive directory of 200 beautiful garden plants to attract a range of species, as well as a useful directory of over 70 common species of wildlife. There are sections showing how to observe and better understand the roles of wildlife, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to attract wildlife and how to achieve practical solutions to gardening problems.
With its wealth of hands-on practical advice and inspirational photography, this is the ideal sourcebook for first-time gardeners, those wishing to use the techniques in an existing garden and dedicated wildlife enthusiasts everywhere.
Christine Lavelle is a lecturer in horticulture and ecology at Writtle College, Chelmsford, in England. She trained at the National Trust for Scotland's Threave School of Practical Gardening and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew where she carried out research projects to encourage beneficial insects within ornamental gardens. Christine has worked in many different areas of horticulture and has held two head gardenships at Askham Bryan College in York and Otley College in Suffolk.
Michael Lavelle is a committed environmentalist and a firm believer that nature provides the best model for any garden design. A keen observer of nature since his early childhood in Lancashire, he believes that this natural model combined with a commonsense approach to horticulture is the key to organic success. Michael studied horticulture at Askham Bryan College in York and environmental management at Wye College in Kent. He worked as a professional landscaper before starting a career as a horticultural lecturer in the early 1990s. Michael has designed and constructed several educational exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show, achieving prestigious gold medals in 1999 and 2003.