Subtitled ‘Create a Haven for Birds, Bees and Butterflies’, this lovely little book gives practical guidance on how to do just that. Written to inform simply and comprehensively, the book also gives reasons for making changes to what are often gardens artificially regimented by tradition, ideas of taste, a desire to ‘tame’ nature, or simple lack of time and/or the means to cultivate our individual plots of land. The good news is, once you take steps to allow nature a role in your garden, the amount of work needed to keep it an attractive and useful patch is easily dealt with.
Frances Tophill, from the BBC’s ‘Gardener’s World’, provides examples of the types of wildlife your garden can attract and help protect from the growing threat of species extinction. Having such creatures in your garden will enhance its beauty while giving vital support to wildlife that is often in decline. She also gives lists of the plants that will help in this process and those that should be avoided, especially the invasive species of both native and non-native plants.
The book starts with a series of informative and fascinating chapters on the garden ecosystem. It continues with a section about introducing wildlife, explaining how such creatures can be beneficial to the garden or to the environment in general terms. The final part is a small section on seasonal maintenance of a rewilded garden, with a few pages of useful resources to follow.
I read this book after starting to convert my garden to a low-maintenance space because of advancing years and problematic arthritis. I’m glad I found it before I’d completed this programme, as it’s given me ideas, and practical advice, which will make that process both easier and more productive of environmental benefits.
A word of warning; be careful if you choose to read this book. If you have any sense, any sort of social or environmental responsibility, or suffer from concern about wildlife and the planet, you may find this book will completely transform your neat, cultivated, planned, and regimented garden into a meadow full of wildflowers, a small copse supporting a multitude of wild creatures, or a wildlife reserve!
Such results will, of course, be rewarding and beneficial to wildlife, the environment, and you.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]