Shrewsbury plant centre a haven for birds and insects
23rd February 2017
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Staff at Love Plants, the specialist plants centre located at award-winning caravan dealership Salop Leisure in Shrewsbury, believe in gardening in harmony with nature.

The ethos of working with mother nature rather than against her is paying dividends in terms of the birds and insects that are attracted to the centre at Emstrey.

Feathered friends

Love Plants had a blackbird nest in summer bulbs rack and successfully fledge her offspring last year, a goldfinch nested in a euonymus standard and wagtails regularly make their nest beneath wooden crates.

In the past, a wild duck has nested amongst bedding plants and one year even made her home in a floral display amongst Salop Leisure’s touring caravans.

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Pictured above: The wild duck that nested in a floral display at Salop Leisure a few years ago.

Nesting season

During the nesting period, staff try to protect the birds’ privacy the best they can and have taken shrubs, where nests are located, off sale to ensure that the eggs are given every chance to hatch.

In addition, a resident robin follows staff around looking to pick up a juicy snack when they disturb the soil. Bees, wasps, dragonflies and a range of other insects are also welcome visitors to Love Plants for their pollinating ability.

Nature awakening

“At this time of the year, gardens are beginning to wake up ready for the spring and we tend to start seeing more birds and insects,” said Wendy Hayward, an assistant at Love Plants. “There’s nothing more cute than a mother duck and her ducklings waddling off from their nest to the nearby pond.

“We encourage gardeners to stock wildlife friendly plants that encourage insects and birds into their garden and we even have bug hotels for insects. It’s about gardening in harmony with nature to encourage natural predators and pollinators to save having to use pesticides to control pests."

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Pictured above: Wendy Hayward with a bug hotel at Love Plants.

Food for thought

Wendy continued: “It’s a good idea to have plants such as sunflowers which provide food for birds over the winter. You can even use decoy plants to divert pests away from vulnerable plants and companion plants to attract insects such as hoverflies which feed on aphids.

“The secret is to ensure that you choose the right variety of plant for your garden and to plant them in the right conditions and environment to keep them healthy and watered. It certainly helps to know you garden.”

Salop Leisure has a policy of developing caravan parks in harmony with nature and wildlife, as demonstrated by the pond on the company’s holiday home and lodge village display area, which also has wildflower areas.

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