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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How I Turned My Garden Into a Wildlife Haven

There was a glut of garden makeover programs in the nineties and noughties that made use of too much hard paving, gravel, and modern water features. I always thought that this style of gardening wasn’t very friendly to the local wildlife. Therefore, after seeing now not to do things, I set off to redesign my own garden to be wildlife friendly.
It’s not a difficult project to take on, as nature will do most of the work for you if left alone. Here are some of the ways I encouraged native species to live, or visit, my garden.

Natural Pond

A natural pond is far superior, in my humble opinion, to the modern features that trickle or spray water. My pond needs no power supply as there is no pump, waterfall, or fountain. It is just a crystal clear, healthy home for the little critters. This is the method I used to create it.
Dig a hole for the pond. Make it as large as possible and at least two feet deep at one end. Half of the pond should have a gentle slope down to the waterline so that creatures can get in and out of the water easily.

Place a layer of sand over the bottom and sides of the hole. Make it two inches thick if possible. This is to protect the liner from damage.

Put the pond liner in place and fill the pond with water. This will help the liner to take shape.

Hide all of the liner edges by building a pebble beach or burying them.
Fill the pond with plants that will give oxygen to the water. Your local aquatics shop will be able to advise you of the best plants to use.
And that is it. The pond established itself over the next year and is now home to a happy ecosystem of its own.

Attract Birds

I love wild birds, seeing them and listening to them. To try and tempt them into my garden, I installed some beautiful bird houses from They were easy to assemble and fit, and I even have a camera in one of them so that I can watch some eggs hatch.

Let Nature Do Its Thing

I have simply left a large area of my garden alone so that nature can move in. Once a year I work it over with a trimmer to keep the weed growth down, and this seems to work well. There is an abundance of butterflies and bees in the garden that are attracted by the flowers on what people categorize as weeds.

Even The Little Creatures Need a Home

There is a small corner of my garden where I have stacked old bricks and wood, making sure that there are gaps between the bricks where insects can make a home. They have immigrated in their millions. Myself and my children placed an old wooden board on the ground and left it alone for a couple of months. We returned to check if there was anything living under it and was astounded at the variety of creatures there. Empty jam jars are put to good use in our house; I can tell you.
Our garden may not be the neatest or the tidiest, but it is home to zillions of little bugs and creatures who are happy that I have designed it that way. So, if you disagree with me, i’m afraid you are out voted by a wide margin. Be kind to our little friends.


Franc Ramon said...

You're garden look really good and refreshing.

Mel Cole said...

Very nice garden tips sis. You remind me to do spring cleaning on my garden.

Janeane Davis said...

Before your post I actually never thought about making my garden area wildlife friendly. But is seems like a matter of common sense doesn't it!