Most of us now live in towns and cities where gardens are often quite small and we’re surrounded by buildings. Now well as the built environment poses certain challenges busy roads for hedgehogs to cross for example, urban gardens are actually hot spots for wildlife. Today I’m going to show you how you don’t have to live in the country or even have a large garden to do your bit, with just a little thought even the tiniest of urban plots can welcome wildlife and be a rewarding place for us to. Don’t worry about not having acres of lawn even a patch of grass the size of a postage stamp is enough to make yourself a mini meadow, just mow a path through the middle or keep the edges short, green wood peckers will love to hunt for ants in those parts, while leaving the rest to grow tall. Support your pollinating insects by letting some of the long weeds flower or if you prefer you can plant in some wildflower plug plants instead if the grasses in your lawn are a bit too vigorous and are not letting the wild flowers come through there’s a simple fix for that, a lovely little flower called yellow rattle can be sewn into the lawn and this is semi-parasitic on the grass and so will help to suppress its vigour. Shade is really common in small gardens especially along boundaries and hedge lines, dense conifer hedges like this slow growing Yew harbour all sorts of spiders and invertebrates and also makes a great nesting site for blackbirds. cleanser boundaries rather than fences or walls means that it’s easy access for hedgehogs and other animals which can freely come and go. It’s also a handy spot to discreetly place a log pile. When it comes to water in the garden we need to think small too you don’t need a big pond instead opt for a small bird bath light of a stone one we’ve got down here or make a little mini water feature out of an old belfast sink or a trug All i’m going to do is just get a couple of bricks pop those into the bottom of the trug I’ve got a couple of moisture loving plants here, this lovely Purple Loosetrife (Lythrum salicaria) this will bring in the bees straight away and then alongside it I’ve got some water mint in not very long time this is going to come into flower and lure in the butterflies and the moths so all we’re going to do is just stand these they’ll sit on the bricks so they will be raised up a little bit in the water that looks good there and I think if we pop this one over here and I probably got a little bit of space so a third one these will all fill out so don’t worry too much if it looks a little sparse to begin with, that’s quite nice now ideally fill your trug with rainwater in preference to tap water and remember to allow frogs some sort of access so they can get in and out I’ve just got a little old piece of wood here so I’m just going to slip this in, there we go and the only thing that’s left to do is top up with water. Urban gardens are often warmer more sheltered places than larger exposed rural gardens, meaning that we can get away with a wider range of more tender plants and that wildlife is active for longer. There’s loads of potential in an urban garden we just need to maximise it. If you have lots of hard surfaces see if you can use gravel as a pathway and plant through with grant cover plants like time and a return plant at quartz window boxes and baskets with pollinator friendly plants such as Snapdragon fairy talk facts and single flower marigold this red tender duranium probably won’t attract much for the insects we don’t worry it’s a superb splash of color or summer long and so this week’s container gives us the best of both worlds think about vertical clamping with narrow borders create wigwams with climbers on this increases the habitat potential a porch lends itself to get more climbers and it’s also a great place for hanging bird feeders and if you haven’t space for a tree how about going for an espaliered apple bees enjoy it at blossom time and we get to enjoy the fruit. whatever the aspect house and shed walls are great places for putting up all sorts of nest boxes, house sparrows and starlings will quite often find their own space up under the eaves or under the tiles in the roof space, but there’s boxes for all sorts of birds including one that’s just tucked out of sight round the corner here When placing bee hotels, choose a sunny wall but find a shady wall instead for bat boxes, bat’s when they’re roosting prefer cooler conditions and of course thats and their prey such as moss become disorientated with artificial lighting, help them out by using low intensity light such as this solar-powered garden light. Urban gardeners can be more adventurous with their planting safe in the knowledge that many tender plants are going to make it safely through the winter he bees salvias Illyria’s fuchsias and dahlias are all great choices look out for these single flowered dahlias, one’s such as ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and a happy single series, by flowering right up to the first frost these exotic plants provide for bees and butterflies and work hard in a small space for gardeners. Small gardens are a wonderful place to get really close to garden wildlife, so take a fresh look at your plot and see if you two can make it hot spot for wildlife in your town or city.