DSCN3617 Roslin meadow PSE2 DSCN3626 Roslin meadow PSE2

Photos courtesy of Rob Jones

As part of BBC RAdio 4 Gardeners Question Time at the Botanic Garden, Edinburgh Living Landscape (ELL) hosted a similar sideshow on wildlife gardening with a panel from Buglife- Suzie Burgess, City of Edinburgh Council Biodiversity Officer -Susan Falconer, Anthony McCluskey from Butterfly Conservation Scotland and Susan Davies Director of Conservation at the Scottish Wildlift Trust and chaired by Leonie Alexander, the ELL Urban Biodiversity Project Officer at RBGE. Excellent questions from the audience on whether seed bombs are a good idea, how to attract hedgehogs into the garden, why bother to control the invasive Himalayan balsam in the city, what plants to grow on a sunny, dry slope and much more. The final question was – What one thing should gardeners not do? There was a strong consensus from the panel on what were referred to as gardeners ASBO’s – Susan Davies was first off with a clear statement on no use of peat followed by Susan Falconer on no use of slug pellets commenting – ‘be grateful that slugs can’t fly’. Anthony recommended leaving areas unmown specifically to encourage frogs and toads which feed on slugs which otherwise would consume his delphiniums and Suzie emphasised the importance of including native wildflowers to encourage a whole diversity of invertebrates including ladybirds, lacewings and soldier beetles. Gardens account for around 25% of the land in most cities in the UK. There is no question that gardeners can make a significant contribution to local wildlife. We are considering runing a similar event so if you have any ideas or suggestions do get in touch: l.alexander@rbge.ac.uk