Whilst planting and sowing of suitable flowers can be great for feeding insects in the garden, many insects rely on different kinds of vegetation for resting, nesting and overwintering.
Whilst some will perform these behaviours in and around patches of semi-permanent flowering vegetation, many seek out more robust vegetative features – such as shrubs and hedges – particularly for nesting and overwintering. If your garden is large enough, including shrubs and hedges can therefore be a great way to ‘promote’ your space from an insect summer feeding stop to a year-round insect haven.
You can even select shrubs and hedges that also provide good floral food for insects when in bloom. Some of the links in my‘Flower Power’ entry provide suggestions to help you select your own ‘multi-functional’ shrub and hedge species. You can also find some tips on native hedgerow plants on the NIW gardening page, along with suggestions for native understory flowers that you could include at the base of your hedge on our Insect Garden page.
If your plot isn’t large enough to accommodate large shrubs or a hedgerow, don’t worry. In my next few blog entries I’ll be covering ‘home-made’ and compact solutions to provide garden insects with nesting sites and lodgings for the winter.