Watching the wildlife in your garden can be relaxing, interesting, and educational. It's incredible how many different types of creatures come to visit, and they often go unnoticed unless you're taking the time to spot them.
Unfortunately, modern gardens are often designed to be clean, simple and free from all of the things wild animals appreciate. There's typically an emphasis on creating a comfortable space for humans without considering how much it can drive wildlife away, with features like decking usually particularly barren.
You don't have to choose between an unkempt garden and a wildlife-free zone, however. With just a few simple adjustments you can turn your garden decks into havens for animals.
Decking is usually a space free from plants, but with a few containers, you can easily change that. All sorts of plants will grow in pots, as long as they're big enough, so you have a wide range of options.
Lavender is great for attracting bees and butterflies, and it doesn't take much looking after as long as you remember to water it occasionally. A selection of different native flowers will increase the variety of butterflies you get visiting.
Add some ivy, which can be trained to grow up a stick or trellis, and it's excellent shelter for small birds and other creatures.
You can even plant small trees in pots, which will provide roosts and shelter for birds. Opt for fruit trees and they'll even be able to feed.
Add some water
If there's space on your decking, a small water feature will not only be relaxing to watch, the animals will appreciate it, too. Birds will use it for bathing, and you might even get some other animals stopping by for a drink.
Choose something with a pump to keep the water moving, which will stop mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Feed the birds
Bird feeders can be set up hanging from plants and trees, or you could even integrate a post into your decking design as a place to keep them. Provide a variety of seeds and nuts to attract different birds.
Set up some homes
Another good reason to include a tall post or two in your decking is that it makes a good place to fix nesting boxes for birds and bats.
If your decking has already been built and this isn't possible, you can fix a post to the railing using clamps, nails or screws.