Landscaping Ideas for Wildlife Friendly Gardens
Creating wildlife friendly gardens can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. They are generally easier to maintain than traditional gardens because the planting will be suitably adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. Wildlife friendly gardens don’t have to fully replicate a natural one but can be designed and shaped to look modern and contemporary. Wildlife friendly gardens should aim to create food sources, potential shelter and protection for fauna.
To begin you should locate where you would like to build the garden. Investigate the permeability of the soil by digging a few holes and filling with water. If they take a few hours to drain the soil may need some additives like gypsum to break up the clay.
Next research the local plant species that were once located in your area and the type of vegetation communities that existed. Check with your Local Government Authority, National Parks information centres, local native plant nurseries and search online. Creating a wildlife attracting vegetation community, plant species should be selected from the canopy, understorey and ground-cover layers.
Trees will provide shade and habitat for larger animals and birds and provide protected landing and nesting areas for birds flying through your area. Shrubs and ground-covers in the understorey will provide protection to small birds and animals and lizards from the larger birds and animals. These should be planted in dense clumps or swathes as they will provide greater protection this way.
A mix of plants will also help to provide seed at differing times of the year to create food sources all year round. This doesn’t mean that planting design need to completely replicate the existing planting community structure. The garden can be designed to have singular plants massed together providing greater visual impact but maximise different species used to increase food sources.
Additional landscaping ideas for wildlife gardens should provide groupings of rocks and large branches to create habitat for small animals and lizards. Use natural mulches for example leaf litter or forest mulch to provide a more naturalistic setting. Water is another necessity and can be provided through a pond feature or a simple bird bath. A mix of both will provide safe drinking spots for both birds and ground dwellers.
Remember these landscaping ideas won’t attract wildlife over night and it will take a some years for plants to fully develop and then the wildlife to find it. If you are adding some of these ideas to an existing developed native garden then you may experience results sooner.