Attract wildlife to your garden
Australia is a land of abundant wildlife. We are spoilt with diverse and often unique plants and along with those, an incredible range of birds, insects, reptiles, mammals and more. When preparing a new garden or revamping an existing one, it is easy to bring another layer into your garden by creating habitat attractive to this wildlife.
There are the obvious “pin-up” species such as the parrots which will be attracted by nectar-rich plants but a true wildlife-friendly garden would cater for all local native fauna. This could mean growing plants to provide a wide variety of food sources for native insects and the like which in turn become food sources themselves for larger fauna.
There are many ways to attract wildlife to your garden. Depending on your situation, you may choose to attract birds and butterflies only or try for a Full Monty, bringing in frogs, snakes, possums, turkeys, wallabies, bats, bandicoots and lizards.
As well as being a food source, a good wildlife garden will provide habitat for nesting; shrubs and grasses for protection from predators; and a water source or two. Leaf litter, fallen logs and tree hollows host numerous species and if the latter are not available in your garden, consider putting in a few artificial nesting boxes. Even a bank of soil can provide housing opportunities for the Pardalotes.
Butterflies, moths and various insects provide a constant source of fascination for children and for many adults, but a garden abundant with such wildlife will inevitably have plant damage. The flip side of chewed leaves is having more to experience in the garden.
Wildlife also provides an attractive aural backdrop. Since my teenage years as a paperboy, one of my greatest pleasures has been to rise before dawn and listen to the world awake. The wider the variety of voices involved, the greater the morning symphony will be.
By creating an environment where a wider range of local fauna can feed and survive, you will have a year round source of joy which will change with the seasons. As a bonus, some of them will help pollinate other plants around your garden or control insect pests.