It may seem like we are always trying to get rid of unwanted pests and bugs in our garden but are we going too far at times? Not all bugs are actually pests and if you start to look into their roles you will find out that some are vital to our eco-system. We are now all very aware of the huge role bees play in pollination of our plants, flowers and trees. One way to encourage bees to your garden is by planting brightly coloured and strong scented plants, such as lavender. These will return year after year, look fab, will fill out to cover large areas and will keep the bees coming back. Other popular flowers include Aster’s, Hydrangea, Bergamot, Sun Flowers and Jasmine. Sun flowers are of course a really fun option to plant and grow with your children. But how can we attract other bugs and keep them sticking around?
Bug houses have become a popular feature for gardens and plenty can be found in garden centres and online. We bought this one on ebay but my son has become so obsessed with the creepy crawlies in the garden that I thought it would be a great idea to have a go at making one together.
Jake with his little woodlouse friend who he decided to bring indoors!
We have so much left over bits of wood from all our DIY jobs stored in the garage that we decided to start there. Old laminate floor, bits of the new oak floor, scrap bits of wood and even a broken plant pot all came in handy. I sent the little man off to collect sticks, twigs and leaves and I set about trying to make some sort of structure… there was no man available to help!
I attempted the drill but the battery ran down and I couldn’t disappoint my boy once we had started. So, being a woman, I worked around this and used my initiative. Glue and electrical tape came to hand- that stuff is so sticky and keeps helping me out in little situations (like taping the lawnmower handles back together) I think everyone needs it in their house!
So as it was a bug house I decided it needed to look ‘house like’.
We had a look on the RSPB’s website for some ideas on how to make our house look and what items would be best to use and then it was just simply the case of layering up some ‘floors’ ready for all our different bugs to move in to.
The first floor consisted of sticks, twigs and broken pot parts.
The next ‘floor’ was made up of some of the oak flooring with 2 plastic plant pots and a paper mache one placed on top. Inside these we placed stones and some soil.
We then simply rolled up some cardboard to make little cubby holes for the bugs to nestle inside and surrounded the pots with these.
The ‘floor’ above was created with a curved piece of cardboard which could then hold leaves, another paper mache pot and more cubby holes. The finishing touches of soil, dried leaves and dandelion leaves were added and there we have it, a homemade bug house ready for the garden:
Great fun for a child and it will also give him something to go out into the garden to look at and continue his love of bug hunting.