Kate's Humble Habitats

Autumnal tips from nature lover and television presenter Kate Humble

What a year! In the last month alone it seems we’ve gone through all four seasons. Hopefully this month will be better so we can get out and enjoy our gardens. 

Despite the weather many gardens will be a riot of colour. Bright plants like michaelmas daisy and fuchsias attract butterflies and moths, so look out for them. Moths are fascinating and what can appear to be rather a dull brown insect will prove to have wonderful patterns and colours on closer inspection.

However, as the birds return it's a good idea to put stickers on large windows. With the sun low, windows will often reflect and birds get confused and fly into them. Many are killed this way every year, and a sticker could make all the difference.

For many people who have lived with floods, the state of the garden will be the last thing on their minds. Sadly, much of the wildlife in these areas will have perished as they have no defence against such extreme weather.

Unfortunately, flooding may become a more regular occurrence in the future and there is little anyone can do if a river bursts its banks. But gardens with more lawn and flowerbeds than deck or patio will help to absorb more rainwater. You could even consider having a green roof if you are building a garden shed. I have one on my garden office and it looks lovely, absorbs rainwater and provides habitat for insects.

As I write, the sun is shining and the mice that live under an old tree stump are scampering about in the flower bed. There will be plenty to do in the garden over the next couple of months, so for now, enjoy what is left of the sun.