‘Even more important now’: Camilla on ‘wild’ gardens for animals – how to attract wildlife

Camilla speaks to Monty Don in Gardeners' World appearance

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Gardeners’ World will be broadcast tonight at 8pm on the BBC and will feature a special guest: Camilla Parker-Bowles. The Duchess of Cornwall will speak to host Monty Don about her favourite tasks to do in her garden and what she wants her garden to look like in the coming months.

Walking around Monty’s garden in Herefordshire, Camilla told the gardening expert that “there is something very healing about gardens”.

She said: “You don’t have to think about anything else, you’re surrounded by nature, you’ve got birds singing, you’ve got bees buzzing about.”

Camilla added that she wanted to attract more wildlife to her garden, including butterflies and bees.

To do this, she planned on growing a “wild” area in her garden, such as a wildflower meadow.

The Duchess said: “I’ve got a little bit of a woodland garden that I’ve started, and I would love to build that up more.

“I would love to put down swathes of bulbs, and I would also like to have a proper wildflower meadow.

“At the moment I’ve got a bit, but the grass has sort of taken over and we’re going to have another go this year of planting more seeds, because I think, especially now, it’s even more important to have these wildflowers – if we’re going to keep on attracting butterflies and bees.”

With the number of bees and bird species dwindling in Britain, now is the perfect time to create a safe sanctuary for them in your garden.

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Like Camilla, choosing the right flowers to plant in your garden to create a wildflower area or meadow can help attract wildlife.

This is because flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, and other insects that perform the vital task of fertilisation.

According to the RHS, it is best to avoid too many highly-bred cultivars with big and blowsy or double flowers, as most contain little or no pollen or nectar.

Growing a mixture of trees and shrubs is another way of attracting wildlife to your garden – especially birds.

Birds like to shelter in bushes and hedges, and so having those in your garden will bring various species in.

Good ones to opt for include blossom and berry hedges, such as rowan, crab apple, elder, blackthorn, and hawthorn, which provide food for birds.

Another handy tip to attract wildlife is to provide water for them.

You can do this by installing a pond in your garden.

No matter how big the pond is – even a dustbin lid will do – it will attract thirsty creatures including birds, badgers, foxes, and more.

Additionally, the RHS recommended leaving a pile of dead wood in your garden as shelter for various insects, including beetles.

It can also act as a hibernation site for some wildlife.

To attract birds, make the most of bird feeders and houses you can find for affordable prices in garden centres.

Birds enjoy eating peanuts, sunflower hearts, seeds, kitchen scraps, and fat balls.

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