Another warm day in July and a few more tasks completed around the garden, then time to relax a little and enjoy the garden in a more peaceful way. At this time of the year, the garden is looking colourful and with blooms in abundance have you noticed how many pollinating insects seem to be buzzing around the garden.

Actually, it can be quite tranquil just relaxing and watching them go about their daily business.

Generally, my garden is there to give me pleasure and personal enjoyment, though I don’t mind sharing it with the wildlife that finds its way in to the garden. Well, that is without the garden pests, such as aphids, snails and slugs, though even these can be beneficial to other creatures.

There is also another reason why I’m thinking about pollination insects and that is a new project which is being supported by the national lottery called ‘Get Cumbria Buzzing’.

Just under a million pounds will support the creation of 115 hectares of wildflower rich habitat to boost pollinators. In effect there will be two pollinating corridors, one running from Carlisle to the coast, then along the coast and running just past Whitehaven. The other corridor runs from Workington to Penrith following the A66.

Given that more than half of UK bee, butterfly and moth species have declined in the past 50 years, and 30 species of bees are facing potential extinction.

Add to this, that over the last 75 years we’ve lost 97 per cent of our flower rich meadows, 50 per cent of our hedgerows, and 60 per cent of flowering plants are in decline.

Then I hope you will agree projects like Get Cumbria Buzzing are well worth the support and investment and in time hopefully will help address the balance. However, you don’t need large areas to help pollinators, even with the smallest garden you can help.

We often talk about a wildlife garden, well all gardens support some form of wildlife, though thinking more about the types of plants we use will lead to increasing the diversity of wildlife.

In most gardens you can leave an area to ‘naturalise’ however it will still need to be managed. If you wish to grow ‘wild flowers’ then you need to be aware that there are two types, annuals and perennials. To grow annual wild flowers such as poppies, corn flowers and corn marigolds, then you need to cultivate an area for the seeds to be sown. They will not germinate is sown on to a grass area. However, perennial wild flowers are normally grown in grassy meadow areas and the best way to introduce these types of flowers into a grassed area is using plug plants – yes, many online nurseries also offer wild flowers as plugs.

Though, even an ornamental garden can be grown to help pollinators, choose plants where the flowers are single, avoid using double flowering types of plants which have been bred to produce lots of petals. Grow plants which are known for attracting pollinators such as buddleias and lavender, there are many ornamental plants which are available to the gardener, a quick search on the internet will produce a large list. Also, try to grow a range of plants that help to extend the season for pollinators, starting off in the early spring to early winter.

To help hibernating pollinators you could help by building a bug hotel for a surprisingly wide variety of guests including nesting mason bees and leaf cutter bees, woodlice hiding from the sun – and woodlice spiders hunting woodlice, earwigs hiding their babies from predators, ladybirds and lacewings hibernating over winter, beetle larvae feeding on the dead wood, funnel web spiders and centipedes storing their prey.

Bug hotels can be purchased online and do come in all shapes and sizes, however they are really easy to make yourself! Old wooden disused pallets are ideal, supported with twigs, logs with holes drilled in them, bark, bamboo canes, straw, pine cones, terracotta pots, pipes, old roofing slates or tiles. And, to keep the guests dry and cosy to top the hotel - green roofing material, such as turf or other solid material to cover the top or ‘roof’ of the bug hotel. Once your hotel has been created and open, you will find a wide range of guests will quickly occupy.