Share your images of the wildlife that has been drawn to your spaces by Seedball blooms.
For a chance to win our October bundle on social media, we would love to see pictures of any flora and fauna in your garden, whether it’s bumblebees on your borage, crab spiders on the corn marigolds, tits on the teasels or hedgehogs in the herbaceous border! Make sure you tag us @seed_ball and add the hashtag #gardensafari. Each image is an entry and we are keeping this one open for the month of October.
Being the month of Halloween it is the perfect time to go on a spider hunt! Autumn is a time when lots of spiders are busy in gardens and hedgerows right up until the first frosts, when most of them will die off. Have you seen the pumpkin spider with her large orange abdomen or the tiny zebra jumping spider, or even the more familiar garden spider with a cross on its back?
October is also a time when bats are busy looking for hibernation sites, mating and feeding to put on enough weight to last over winter. Why not scatter some Bat Mix seed balls this autumn to grow evening scented flowers that encourage night-flying insects bats like to feast on.
Only newly fertilised queen bumblebees will survive the colder winter by hibernating, the rest of the colony will naturally die off. Males and new queens are often not allowed back into the nest and can sometimes be seen sleeping in flowers or sheltering during showers at the beginning of Autumn.
Winter is too cold for adult grasshoppers to survive but they will have laid their eggs in long grass or leaf litter and the tiny nymphs shelter somewhere in the undergrowth to keep warm.
Some butterflies like the Tortoiseshell and Peacock may overwinter as adults if they find a safe place to rest undisturbed. Ladybirds will snuggle down inside hollow stems and Leaf-cutter and Miner bee-babies will sleep through the winter, hopefully safe in their cells.
As we tidy our gardens and spaces in Autumn, remember wildlife is beginning to prepare for winter and we can help by providing places to shelter, by leaving some seed heads, stems and leaf litter in place over winter for sheltering insects.
Autumn is a fantastic time to sow wildflower seed balls – right up until the first frost, ready for next summer. Simply scatter on bare soil and let the Autumn rains do the watering for you.
Happy Halloween and keep on scattering!