Your garden could provide a safe haven for wildlife, with food, shelter, look-out spots, nesting sites and safe areas to raise young. No matter how small your garden - be it plant containers, or a courtyard, roof top garden, deck or larger space - you can contribute to the survival of wildlife by providing suitable habitat for birds, insects, frogs, lizards and other animals.
By creating or providing a garden in a wildlife-friendly and environment-friendly way you will:
- Help to conserve local plants and animals.
- Have time to enjoy your garden more by reducing maintenance time and costs.
- Reduce water wastage through wise practices such as mulching and using local native plant species which are better able to tolerate drought conditions.
- Benefit from having native birds and insects in your garden through natural pest control (no need for chemicals), increased pollination and fruit/flower set leading to better production.
Creating a garden to attract birds, frogs, lizards, insects and other animals doesn't have to mean having a messy garden with rampant 'scraggy' native vegetation. Your garden can be as formal or informal as you wish it to be, you may wish to retain exotic plants you have longed to grow, or keep a vegetable garden.
You can create various habitats within your garden to provide safe shelter, food sources and nesting sites to attract a number of wildlife species to your garden. These can be achieved by either physical structures or by landscape planting.
Landscaping, or creating wildlife habitats in your garden it is best to source landscape materials 'sustainably'. For example, if you wish to provide rocks or logs for wildlife to shelter under or bask in the sun on, then do not remove them from native bush areas. By doing so, you are removing valuable natural wildlife habitat for many species in the wild.
Consider the use of native plant species for hedges or privacy screens. There are a number of native plant species which can effectively be used to create attractive hedges which have the additional benefit of providing safe nest sites, shelter from predators and food source for a variety of wildlife species. A native plant hedge or screen can be pruned and clipped to create a neat and uniform screen to the size and height you wish.
Leaf litter, twigs, fallen branches and logs left on the ground provide valuable habitat and shelter for numerous species of insects, spiders, beetles, slugs, worms, lizards and frogs which in turn become valuable food for birds and larger animals. This material also provides great mulch for keeping weeds down and helping with water retention.
For assistance in creating a native garden, check out the information on our Native Havens page.