Beneficial Garden Creatures

Some wild creatures help to pollinate plants, break down compost and prey on pests, so make these friendly visitors welcome in your garden.

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Busy Bees

The flowers of many vegetables, such as runner beans, need to be pollinated by insects in order to set their crop. Bees are excellent pollinators, so include ornamental flowers in your vegetable garden to entice them in.

Hoverflies

Sometimes mistaken for bees, adult hoverflies are great pollinators, while the larvae feed voraciously on insect pests.

Ladybugs

The adults are familiar friends, but the less appealing larvae enjoy nothing better than feasting on juicy aphids.

Lacewings

The delicate appearance of the adult lacewing belies the enormous appetites of its larvae for common garden pests.

Song Thrushes

These birds break snails from their shells, so plant a berry-bearing shrub or tree on your patch to give them winter food, too.

Brandling Worms

Smaller and redder than the usual earthworm, these creatures rapidly reduce vegetable matter to compost.

Frogs and Toads

Even a small pond can become home to a number of frogs and toads, which will help to keep the slug population in check.

Next Up

Succulent Gardens

Succulent gardens, both indoors and out, are interesting, low maintenance, and easy, and contain a variety of sometimes-bizarre plants in many shapes, sizes, colors, and features. The most crucial things they need are bright light, and well-drained soils that never stay wet.

Vegetable Garden Plans

Taking time to plan a vegetable garden before you plant can pay dividends throughout the season. Clever use of low rows and tall accent plants creates microclimates that different vegetables enjoy, as well as great visual effects.

Tips on Garden Border Materials

The pros and cons of garden border materials, including such points as cost, durability and purpose.

Make Delicious Herb Cookies Straight From the Garden

Add garden fresh flavors to your holiday treats with herb-infused shortbread.

Tips for a Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden

Raised-bed vegetable gardening takes very little space and allows vegetables to be grown closer together.