Tips for Wildlife Gardening

Wildlife gardening is a school of gardening that is aimed at creating an environment that is attractive to various forms of wildlife such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and so on.

Here are some easy natural tips for Wildlife Gardening:

Start with the basics: Every wildlife garden should aim at providing the three basics; food, water and shelter.

Food

  • A diversity of food sources will actively encourage all sorts of wildlife into your garden. Bird feeders are great but are only the start. Grow some plants which yield berries peanuts, and nuts.
  • Grow fruit trees that will help to feed various birds.
  • Grow vegetation like nettles and ivy which provides food plants and winter shelter for lots of insects like brimstone butterflies.
  • Brighten your garden with flowers that provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and other insects all the year round.

Water

Build water bodies in your garden. All wildlife needs water. Ponds, water barrels, bird baths are all really helpful for the sustenance of wildlife. Some animals need bodies of water for egg laying and early development and some live partially or entirely in water.

Shelter

Shelter provides space for wildlife. This is vital for protection from wind, rain, winter and predators at any time but is particularly important if you want creatures to live with you all year round, nest and breed.

  • Built mud nests around the garden, and you can attract a whole range of birds to shelter in your garden.
  • An upturned pot or a simple hole in the ground covered by a paving slab with an entrance hole can make a fine home for frogs and toads.
  • Holes drilled in a block of wood will help solitary bees and wasps to live.
  • A rock pile or wall can be quite beautiful and quickly provides a home or way station for insects and lizards.
  • Use “Friable soil” in your garden. It is an important aspect of habitat. Female lizards and turtles need friable soil to dig in to deposit their eggs for successful reproduction.
  • Artful placement of a few decorative rocks gives immediate structure to the garden and a place for butterflies and lizards to sun themselves. Small animals built homes underneath and in crevices between artfully placed rocks.
  • Leave a pile of dead wood in a shady spot which can make a home for beetles to other useful mini-beasts.
  • Don’t neglect vines! Vines clambering through other plants or over structures make excellent nesting cover for songbirds.

Other things to consider:

  • You can plant some super-beneficial plants that bloom for a long time, and yield abundant nectar and pollen which attract a whole community of beneficial insects and small vertebrates.
  • Grow a variety of wildlife flower and other necessary plant to make a beautiful wildlife garden.
  • Build a compost heap, which will help all your garden plants and wildlife. Compost makes for healthy soil, which is good for everything living in it and growing on it. Compost heaps also shelter many useful creatures, like slug-loving slow worms.
  • Allow a patch of grass to grow longer. This will encourage wild flowers; provides shelter for small mammals and food for some butterfly caterpillars.
  • A little stream of very shallow moving water pleases small songbirds.
  • Non-biodegradable weed fabric is the worst landscape feature for life in the garden! Please don’t use it, and especially not over large areas! It really gets in the way for many small creatures.
  • “Light pollution” and “noise pollution” adversely affects animal life. Maintain natural darkness at nights in your garden.