Five ways to make your garden more bug-friendly

As its prime planting season, Miller Homes East Midlands has teamed up with The Wildlife Trusts to share five simple ways to attract more bugs to your garden

A garden full of wildlife is an all-round winner. A bug-friendly garden is a happy environment, with insects providing a world of wonder for your plants, plots and the planet.

For example, bees and flies are crucial for pollinating flowers and crop production, and butterflies not only add a vibrant colour to your garden, but they also act as important pest control.

As its prime planting season, Miller Homes East Midlands has teamed up with The Wildlife Trusts to share five simple ways to attract more bugs to your garden:

1 – Provide plenty of micro-habitats

You might think that this goes without saying, but to attract insects, there needs to be plenty of green space in your garden. As Ellie Brodie, Head of Land Management at The Wildlife Trusts, explains: “Bees, butterflies and even birds need gardens with plenty of habitats. This can include a native hedge, an area of long grass or a patch of nettles.”

She suggests planting easy-to-grow flowers such as the primrose and the jewel-coloured hollyhock in your garden, which do wonders for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. Reminiscent of a country garden, climbing plants like the honeysuckle and the clematis are also brilliant for insect attraction due to their provision of nectar and pollen.

2 – Get crafty with a water source

Having a pond in your garden will provide another habitat and water source for bugs such as damsels and dragonflies. And if you don’t have a large space, don’t worry, even a small mini pond will suffice. The Wildlife Trusts recommends using a washing-up bowl, a large plant pot or even a disused sink.

Choose a spot which won’t be exposed by sunlight all day, and either dig a hole to place your man-made container, or just simply place it on top of your chosen surface, ensuring that the creatures can easily get in and out.  But don’t forget to make things safe and secure if you have little-ones in the family!

3 – Create a beetle bank to attract thousands of species

As Ellie says: “Not only are beetles great pollinators, but they also help to control things such as aphids, helping to maintain a healthy balance in your garden.” Important for our ecosystems, beetles can be enticed if you leave piles of deadwood sticks and logs nearby, which provide shelter for other insects.

Ellie also suggests making a beetle bank by building a mound of soil, sowing grass seeds into it, and then letting the grass grow. A beetle bank is a great way to provide a habitat for ladybirds, ground beetles and some of the other 4,000 species we have across the UK alone.

4 – Mimic nature with wildflowers

Ellie recommends sowing an area with wildflowers to watch a myriad of insects arrive. Wildflowers, low-maintenance and simple, are perfect for wildlife, which stands to reason given their name. Wildflowers provide food such as nectar, pollen, seeds and foliage alongside nesting sites for insects such as ladybirds, hoverflies, bees and moths.

Also, when winter comes, consider leaving some of the wildflower stems standing. It’ll provide food and shelter for insects like ladybirds.

5 – Avoid using pesticides

To ensure your plants are as healthy as can be, keep away from the pesticide spray. Pesticides may, by their very nature, immediately control any pests by destroying them with poison. You don’t want this to happen, especially if you’re growing herbs and plants to consume.

Also, garden pests are part of the natural food cycle, with predators taking on the role of natural pest control. Pesticides are simply not worth the soil contamination and effects on our health and environment.

Garry McDonald, Procurement and Sustainability Director at Miller Homes, said: “Our gardens have never been more important as we spend more time outside with friends and family than we ever have before. As the weather starts getting warmer and we invest the time, money and energy into making our gardens welcoming and inviting for guests, consider also making it more inviting for wildlife. Attracting the right insects can help you to not only connect further to nature, but also see the benefits first-hand with healthier plants and a better ecosystem.”

Wild About Gardens is an annual campaign by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) that encourages people to use their gardens to support nature. This year the charities are calling on the nation to help Bring back our beetles. To find out how you can help beetles, and to download a free guide visit

For more information on Miller Homes and its developments across the East Midlands, visit
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