Garden Wildlife by Gerard Cheshire. Published by Pen & Sword

Being a gardener means you get the added benefit of attracting a lot of wildlife to your plot and Cheshire gives readers a rundown of the creatures they might encounter in their own backyards. Listed by species (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates and plants), each creature gets several pages and photos dedicated to it. Readers will learn why each creature is attracted to the garden, what it eats, where it sleeps and how it cares for its offspring. While we all love the cuddly hedgehogs and badgers and delight in the birds songs and the graceful flit of butterflies and dragonflies, we also learn about some of the gardens less welcome guests, the snakes, flies and snails. But readers will learn that each of these creatures plays a vital role in the garden ecosystem, even if we don’t find them particularly attractive. There’s an old farmer’s saying that goes, expect a third of your garden to be eaten by insects, another third to be eaten by animals and the remainder to be harvested by the farmer. Live by that saying and you will never be disappointed (or need to use pesticides)

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