David Domoney reminds us of how gardens should not just be for summer enjoyment.

Autumn and caring for the wildlife in the garden


Gardens should not just be enjoyed through spring and summer when the sun is shining. Instead, make your garden an inviting and welcoming space all year round, not only for you and your visitors, but for wildlife too.

Garden path created using Pavestone porcelain patio paving. Porcelain paving tiles can make great winding paths through the garden.


Join the journey

One of the great things about gardening is the ability to create a journey from one section of your garden to another, stimulating all your senses and enhance the 'being there' experience. A great way of doing this is to design a pathway that meanders through the garden, surrounded by all of the focal features, as seen here in this garden. The large pavers of Dolomite Slate Porcelain Paving can be cut to fit the curvatures of the garden. The anti-slip finish of the tiles means they are fit for footfall over the rainy seasons due to the good grip they supply.


Wildlife hideaways in your garden should be cherished. Design your garden taking into account the wildlife to make it a joyous feature.


Wildlife hideaways

The ability to cut the tiles to size means any shape can be achieved. Even intricate designs with an almost yin-yang effect can have a fantastic impact. With many curves (using setts as edging) means there’s plenty of space behind to leave a bit of wild log and leaf piles to attract insects and wildlife to shelter over the autumn months.


Birds in the garden look for food in the winter. Planting trees and bushes which support the birds with berries and other foods during the winter months will turn your garden in to a visual spectacle


Winter food

As well as wildlife habitats, these spaces can be used to emphasise the shapes such as incorporating round shapes into the border themselves. Trim and prune shrubs into rounded forms or repeat small shrubs in a circle with a contrasting plant in the centre.


Planting Holly in the garden provides a great source of food for the birds during the winter months

Good plants fit for this purpose are Ilex crenata (Japanese holly) which is a slow growing evergreen with glossy, wavy leaves. It needs a sunny or partially shaded spot with well-drained soil where it will grow up to 8m, however this won’t be the case if you prune it to the shape and size you desire. Come autumn, black berries will appear on this plant which will attract many birds.


 Chose plants that have interest all year round and flower for long orr staggered seasons. These will provide pollen and nectar for pollinators over a longer period of time and will keep wildlife interested in your garden


Boost your borders

Choose plants that have interest all year round and flowers for long or staggered seasons within the year. This will ensure there’s pollen and nectar available for pollinators for a longer period of time.


Yellow daisy flowers of Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed Susan) make striking additions to the border. With flowers during summer and autumn, these are great late flowers for pollinators.

The yellow daisy flowers of Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed Susan) make striking additions to the border. With flowers during summer and autumn, these are great late flowers for pollinators. Also, they’ll look striking when contrasted with the delicate looking Verbena bonariensis (purple-top), that can grow up to 2 metres tall – another plant popular with pollinators.


Kniphofia (red-hot poker) like ‘Bees’ Sunset’ add height, texture, and vibrant fiery colour. The tall spikes of tubular flowers grow best with sandy soil in full sun.


Fiery borders

Kniphofia (red-hot poker) like ‘Bees’ Sunset’ will do the trick of adding height, texture, and vibrant fiery colour. The tall spikes of tubular flowers grow best with sandy soil in full sun. Therefore, these could be utilised in a small circular gravel garden filled with sun loving plants that need well-drained soil.

Kniphofia (red-hot poker) add height, texture, and vibrant fiery colour to your garden

Finish the border and fill in any gaps with evergreen ornamental grasses that will act as food and shelter for our feathered friends. The seed heads of some ornamental grasses are tasty treats for birds, so leave the seed-filled plumes to keep them coming back. Panicum virgatum
(switch grass) ‘Shenandoah’ is a deciduous grass that grows up to 90cm tall. With reddish-purple tones in autumn, this grass has a lot to offer.


Planting grasses in your garden helps to support bird activity. Birds feed on the seeds and in the autumn will use the foliage as nesting material.

Similarly, Festuca glauca (blue fescue) ‘Blaufuchs’ delivers aesthetically with the striking blue foliage, but birds like to eat the seeds as well as using the foliage as winter covering and as material for nesting.

Gardens with fruit trees often suffer from bird waste staining on patios and paved areas. Beware not to use cheap or non-recommend brands of stain removers as they can irreparably damage your paving. Always check with the paving manufacturer that the cleaner will not damage the paving.


Messy visitors

Encourage birds to your garden and sit back to enjoy watching them enjoy all your space has to offer. Whilst they’re taking berries and nesting materials, they may leave waste in exchange, but this can be cleaned off to keep your patio and pathways pristine. Pavestone’s Patio Cleaner is great for removing stubborn dirt and grime off porcelain paving as well as sandstone, limestone, slate, concrete, and brick.


Use a brand of patio paving stain remover that is endorsed by your paving manufacturer, such as this Pavestone product. If you don't, a non-approved cleaner could damage your paving irreparably.

See the full range of cleaning products at www.pavestone.co.uk


Pools of water attract birds to drink and bathe in the garden giving all year round activity to view from your window..


Water for wildlife

Complete the space with a water feature to attract birds to drink and bathe. Bird baths or more decorative water features all offer a handy place for birds to access clean water. Ensure the water source is regularly topped up to keep birds happy.


Subtle water features in the garden support birds and wildlife in your garden.


Subtle water features

Once again, emphasise the shapes of these features by with furnishings that complement the structures. With a rounded water feature or fire pit, finish the area with a cosy rounded seating area that’s inviting for relaxation and socialisation. 


Emphasise the shapes of garden landscaping features with furnishings that complement the structures.


This will give you the perfect spot to sit on a crisp autumn morning and enjoy identifying which birds are paying your garden a visit.
This autumn, make your garden a warm and welcoming place for yourself and for wildlife. By fitting a mixture of plants for pollinators and birds around your garden design, there will be plenty of opportunity to spot the many creatures who are grateful.


This month I have selected the video of the garden featured in this article. The paving is Pavestone Dolomite Slate, a large element paving (1,000mm x 900mm), which cuts well to make circular or winding features



There are many more videos featured here for you to explore.


David Domoney, TV gardener, horticultural expert and Pavestone brand ambassador blogs monthly on the Pavestone website on all things landscaping related. We look forward to seeing you back again next month.


Pavestone Brand Ambassador David Domoney