Why have a garden?

Gardening is good for us

Gardens offer us wonderful places to relax, to socialise, to grow food and to connect with nature. When creating a wildlife friendly garden, it is important to ask yourself all the things that you'd like your garden to do. 

Wildlife gardening provides more shelter for small birds, frogs, skinks and butterflies.

Most gardens already provide some resources for wildlife, so rarely do wildlife gardens need to be designed 'from scratch' unless of course, there is no garden at all. 

Instead, making a few small changes, adding some habitat areas or installing some special features, can transform a standard garden into an area that supports to our local wildlife. See below for the elements that makes a wildlife garden.

Before designing a wildlife garden, it's important to consider the following:

When selecting plants to help build your wildlife garden, consider the following:

A few design factors to consider if you are stating from scratch:

  1. A bird bath amongst common everlasting and native pelargonium
  2. An Australian Painted Lady butterfly
  3. A  Southern Brown Tree Frog enjoying being in  a vegetable garden
Silvereyes (David Whelan)

Is my garden too small to be part of this program?

No matter how small your garden – be it plant containers, a courtyard, deck or larger space – we can all contribute to the survival of wildlife by providing suitable places for birds, insects, frogs, lizards and other animals. 

The garden may be in a school or at a factory or on the nature strip, every bit or planting helps wildlife.

Elements for a wildlife garden

Wildlife friendly gardens may be as simple or as elaborate as you choose. Simply put, gardens that are suitable for wildlife offer the resources (food, water, shelter) that animals need. Adding features and structure to your garden that provide these resources is the easiest way to attract wildlife to your gardens. 

Here is a list of basic garden features that attract wildlife and provide them the resources they need. Most of these features can readily be added to any garden without changing how it is currently used. Some such as tall tree may be "borrowed" if there is one on the nature strip or in a neighbours garden.

White-plumed honeyeater

Plant food for wildlife

Well designed and maintained wildlife gardens will provide all the resources that our wildlife need to survive and thrive naturally. We can plant to provide nectar, pollen, seeds, fruits and insects. Plant different native grasses for seeds for finches or wattles for crimson rosellas. Correas provide nectar for honey eaters. Tea trees and daisies provide nectar and pollen for butterflies and other insects. Insects become food for birds.

Please don’t feed the birds and animals

Feeding native animals mince meat, bread or sunflower seeds may make them very sick, artificially inflates their population, and make them more susceptible to disease and some get malformed beaks and bones. It also makes them dependent on us and unable to find food for themselves.  

If you want to feed birds choose a mix suitable for the birds you have and provide it only occaisionally so it is a treat and not a regular meal.

The best way to help attract birds aside from planting suitable plants, is to provide clean, fresh water in shallow bowls placed out of direct sun.