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Plants to encourage wildlife

At Dunscar we are very keen on preserving the environment and promoting wildlife. We believe that gardeners have a great part to play in this. Gardens are a rich source of food for birds and insects and are thus important environments for Nature’s food chain.

The insects help to pollinate our plants and provide food to attract birds into the garden. The birds themselves also disseminate seeds through their droppings as well as providing endless amusement to the observer. Visit our show garden for inspiration or try some of the following suggestions to encourage wildlife into your garden.


Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
A vigorous climbing plant for a fence, pergola or wall.  Stunning autumn colour when the leaves turn bright red.  The blue-black berries ripen in late summer to attract mistle thrushes, blackcaps and redpolls. The mature plants also make good cover for nests.

Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
The large exotic flowers of these clump forming perennials (plants that flower year after year) are attractive to bees.

Barberry (Berberis x ottawensis ‘Superba’)
The deep purple leaves contrast well with the bright yellow flowers in spring and in autumn give an eye catching display when they turn crimson.  The flowers attract various pollinating insects and are followed by red berries that are attractive to blackbirds, fieldfares and finches.

The Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
The cone shaped flowers have a rich fragrance that attracts butterflies and bees.  If you don’t have room for one of the older varieties such as “Black Knight” or “Royal Red” there are new dwarf variants such as the “Nanho” or “Pixie” types.

Potentilla fruticosa
There are a range of varieties with different coloured flowers through summer. ‘Lovely Pink’ and ‘Goldfinger’ are examples of small shrubs that will attract butterflies and bees.

Verbena bonariensis
This herbaceous perennial (flowers year after year) is very attractive to bees and adds form and colour to a modern garden. The long stems have stiff, open branches and are topped by purple flowers.