Myth:  Real wildlife gardeners don’t kill pests or weeds.
 
This myth is relatively recent, and has been fuelled by exchanges on social media, including our own Facebook group. People who post seeking ways of getting rid of pests which are troubling their plants or favoured animals, have been greeted with quite abusive replies along the lines of “Who are you to decide what lives and dies in your garden! Don’t kill caterpillars on your cabbages, or scare away squirrels from your bird feeder, rejoice in the bindweed everywhere!”
 
It seems that there are as many shades of intolerance in wildlife gardening as there are in most religions.  A “unbeliever” prize-vegetable or cut-flower grower will not tolerate any loss or damage to their precious plants. A liberal wildlife gardener may like to let nature get on with a bit of management from time to time but draws a line at ruined roses or maggots in apples.  A fundamentalist or "born-again" wildlife gardener may truly believe their role is to provide a haven for all wildlife and lets them sort out who-eats-what among themselves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In a practical conservation context, it would be a very unusual nature reserve team that simply sat back and didn’t control species considered unsuitable or damaging to a habitat. They cut back scrub, try to keep deer at bay, and remove rhododendron and other invading plants.
 
Remember, you are managing a garden.  There are umpteen uses for gardens, and we list over 60 on this webpage.  Encouraging wildlife is just one aspect, and other people will have other priorities for the limited space they can control.   Rather than castigating them, let’s enlighten them and help them see how fascinating and enriching garden wildlife can be.
 
Page written by Steve Head: Reviewed by Ken Thompson
These mating lily beetles Lilioceris lilii are spectacular garden fauna, but wreak havoc on many lily-related species.
 
Not many wildlife gardeners will be happy to let these invading aliens run riot in their gardens
Myth:  Real wildlife gardeners don’t kill pests or weeds.
 
This myth is relatively recent, and has been fuelled by exchanges on social media, including our own Facebook group. People who post seeking ways of getting rid of pests which are troubling their plants or favoured animals, have been greeted with quite abusive replies along the lines of “Who are you to decide what lives and dies in your garden! Don’t kill caterpillars on your cabbages, or scare away squirrels from your bird feeder, rejoice in the bindweed everywhere!”
 
It seems that there are as many shades of intolerance in wildlife gardening as there are in most religions.  A “unbeliever” prize-vegetable or cut-flower grower will not tolerate any loss or damage to their precious plants. A liberal wildlife gardener may like to let nature get on with a bit of management from time to time but draws a line at ruined roses or maggots in apples.  A fundamentalist or "born-again" wildlife gardener may truly believe their role is to provide a haven for all wildlife and lets them sort out who-eats-what among themselves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These mating lily beetles Lilioceris lilii are spectacular garden fauna, but wreak havoc on many lily-related species.
 
Not many wildlife gardeners will be happy to let these invading aliens run riot in their gardens
In a practical conservation context, it would be a very unusual nature reserve team that simply sat back and didn’t control species considered unsuitable or damaging to a habitat. They cut back scrub, try to keep deer at bay, and remove rhododendron and other invading plants.
 
Remember, you are managing a garden.  There are umpteen uses for gardens, and we list over 60 on this webpage.  Encouraging wildlife is just one aspect, and other people will have other priorities for the limited space they can control.   Rather than castigating them, let’s enlighten them and help them see how fascinating and enriching garden wildlife can be.
 
Page written by Steve Head: Reviewed by Ken Thompson