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Image / Living / Interiors

Simple ways to make your garden more biodiverse from garden designer Jane McCorkell


By Megan Burns
28th May 2022

Aaron Burden

Simple ways to make your garden more biodiverse from garden designer Jane McCorkell

No matter how big your outdoor space, encouraging biodiversity is a great way to support nature. Here are some easy ways to get started.

Jane McCorkell is a garden designer, landscape architect and landscape horticultural consultant. She has received many accolades for her work, including seven Gold Medals at Bord Bia Bloom.

She knows better than most how even small changes in our outdoor spaces have a big impact on local wildlife, which helps to protect the environment.

Photo: Fennell Photography

The best part is, Jane says, that it’s easy to get started. “Try some simple measures like growing some strawberries in a pot on your balcony or scattering wildflower seeds on your lawn, to projects such as creating a living wall or installing a green-roofed shed (you should ask for professional advice before doing this to ensure the structure can take the weight).”

And getting started is the most important aspect, no matter how small a change you make. “Most importantly,” Jane says, “you need to engage with your outdoor space. Creating a sustainable and biodiverse garden is a journey that the whole family can get involved in, no matter how young or old.

“Insect hotels, bird feeders and butterfly houses are a great way of supporting wildlife and engaging kids, as are wildflower lawns which even toddlers can sow. If you don’t have a lawn, no problem! Grab a pot or a grow bag and throw in a few seeds. My children loved doing this when they were small.”

At this year’s Bord Bia Bloom, Jane has designed the Nature Enthusiast’s Garden to demonstrate how we can improve our garden’s biodiversity, while being a fun space that a family could enjoy.

Shrubs and flowers have been selected that encourage birds, bees and pollinators. “There is also a hedgehog house,” says Jane, “which can create a welcoming habitat to attract hedgehogs into your garden. This can be made from an old box and could be a fun DIY project to undertake some weekend.”

You can download a list of pollinator-friendly plants at bordbiabloom.com, and see the garden for yourself at Bord Bia Bloom this June Bank Holiday weekend, where you will pick up plenty of inspiration for creating a biodiverse garden at home.