Do you love the idea of attracting native wildlife to your garden? How about beneficial insects? Yes, insects can be helpful! What do you think the birds eat? You can attract wildlife to any kind of garden, big or small. Your garden design can become a world that protects, feeds, shelters and maintains the existence and reproduction of hundreds if not thousands of insects, animals and plants. It is pretty spectacular when you think about it.
Why is Biodiversity Important?
To put it simply, the planet needs biodiversity to survive and thrive. You can play your part in saving critical species of animals and microorganisms just by considering them when you garden.
1. PLANT WHAT THEY LIKE
A simple way to feed and shelter native animals and insects is to introduce native plants to your garden.
2. GET MESSY
A wild and natural environment provides an excellent habitat for native wildlife. Relax on the trimming and let the falling debris stay. Think of your flower patch as a wildflower meadow! Some long grass among the flowers is the perfect place for pollinating bees and butterflies.
3. PLEASE ADD WATER
You don’t need to have a pond to add water to your garden habitat, although if you can, then you should! Birdbaths are also an incredible life source for birds, ambitious amphibians and flying insects. Where there is water, there is life. A water source can birth an entire ecosystem. Animals will move in or drop by from all over the neighbourhood.
4. BUILD A LOG OR ROCK-PILE
Piles of rocks, dead tree branches, or even dead trees can be home to reptiles and smaller animals. You can intentionally create the area yourself, or you may just want to leave things where they fall. It is important to make sure the pile is in a safe place, with a little distance from your home if possible.
5. BIRD HOUSES
Bird watching is much more comfortable with a birdhouse or two in the garden. You may even want to have a few of them up in trees or on tall stands. Birds use these to breed in, keeping them safe and warm. The bird poop will fertilise your garden and encourage the growth of plants, old and new. If you have children or grandchildren, birdhouses make for a precious educational experience and encourage kids to get outside and use the garden!
6. AVOID USING INSECT SPRAYS AND PESTICIDES
The use of these chemicals is lethal to your insect population and very bad for your garden. Using insect sprays inside your home can still impact the biodiversity in your garden. Please try not to use them unless absolutely necessary and always consider the hundreds, if not thousands, of lives at stake when you do.
7. LET TREES AND SHRUBS GROW
If you can, avoid cutting shrubs and trees too often. They create essential shelter during all kinds of weather for all types of species. Many of these plant species produce nuts, fruits and seeds that feed native wildlife. When a bird eats a seed, it is returned to the earth on the birds next toilet break. You could be responsible for growing plants all over your area!
8. MAKE YOUR OWN COMPOST
Use the waste coming from your own garden to recycle nutrients back into the soil. Composting fallen debris and cuttings are the best way to create healthy soil. Healthy soil benefits everything that is living in your garden.