Turn your small garden into a wildflower oasis

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Many of us like the idea of having a garden full of wildflowers and colour, but may lack the space to fulfil this dream. With a little imagination and careful planning, however, even the smallest of outdoor spaces can be transformed into a wildlife haven.

Which wildflowers suit a small garden?

When creating a wildlife garden that is colourful and attractive to bees, birds and butterflies, the key is to incorporate plants and flowers that attract these species into your garden.

For small plots, choose plants that take up vertical space rather than horizontal space. Sunflowers, purple loosestrife and foxgloves are all leggy rather than bushy, so are ideal for space-restricted gardens.

If you want to grow vegetables, runner beans and tomatoes grow up not out, and are adored by pollinators.

Consider adding flowring climbers to walls and trellises, too, as this is a good way to introduce plants that wildlife can shelter in, without taking up much room.  Cotoneaster is a good choice as it has flowers for the bees in spring and berries for the birds in autumn.

Growing flowers in the lawn

If you have a patch of grass, add some Meadowmat wildflower turf to it, as this is an easy and effective way to bring colour to the grass, whilst introducing varieties of plants and flowers that birds, bees and butterflies will flock to. The advantage of having wildflower turf in your garden is that you can enjoy green lawn and a flower meadow rolled into one, without needing to encroach on your border space.

sedum lawn with water rill and stepping stones

This sedum lawn uses stepping stones to avoid heavy footfall.
It will produce bee-friendly flowers all summer long

Another useful lawn alternative is Enviromat sedum matting.  It's not particularly hardwearing - so no good for family lawns - but it flowers beautifully, is incredibly low maintenance and attracts butterflies and bees all summer long.

Find out more about sedum matting lawns here

Decorate walls and fences with wildlife friendly features

For petite gardens, make use of walls or fences. Add vibrant hanging baskets, bird boxes or bug hotels to attract nature to your outside space.

nesting box with living green roof

This little nest box featured in the Twitchers Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show in 2015.
The designer, Sarah Keyser has used tall wildflowers to make the most of the small space

Vertical posts hung to walls made of upcycled materials such as old pallets can also make a creative and unique way to hang pots or tubs with your favourite flowers.

If you have outside window ledges, utilise this space by adding some window boxes to create a handy kitchen garden.

Use pots and containers for seasonal interest

group of purple crocus flowers in a potPots are a must-have addition for any small space, as they give you the flexibility to move them around and change the plants according to different tastes or seasons. Stack three tiered pots with overhanging plants or herbs to save space and create colour that will appeal to wildlife.

Plant spring flowering bulbs such as snowdrops, crocus, grape hyacinth or scilla for a pretty display early in the year.

View wildlife friendly spring bulbs here

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