5 Ways To Transform Your Garden Into A Wildlife Friendly Oasis
Create a haven for native wildlife with these easy-to-action tips from a horticulturist.
With increased urban sprawl and nearly three billion animals displaced by the devastating bushfires of 2019-2020, it is more important than ever to care for our native animals. Horticulturist and Northcote Pottery ambassador Melissa King shares simple tips for attracting and nurturing birds in your backyard.
1. Choose the right plants
Turn your garden into a year-round feast for birds by growing nectar-rich plants that flower in different seasons. For example, you might grow bottle brush (Callistemons) or kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos flavidus) to bloom in the summer and spring and correa to flower in the cooler months.
If space is limited, plant compact-growing, bird-friendly plants such as the shrub banksia ‘Birthday Candles’ in decorative pots. Then sit back enjoy the sight of birds flocking to your patio or balcony.
2. Encourage feathered friends with flowering beauties
Beyond nectar-rich plants, try growing a colourful assortment of flowering beauties. You’ll not only attract insects but insect-eating birds such as wrens, willie wagtails and thornbills.
Remember to throw in a few plants with edible seeds or berries too, in order to keep seed-eating birds happy – she-oaks (Casuarina) and blueberry-ash trees (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) are ideal.
Northcote Pottery Terracotta Olinda bird feeder
3. Provide safety & shelter
Plants with thorns or prickly foliage provide a good hiding place for smaller birds. They can find refuge in the spiny canopy, keeping them safe from cats and other predators. Small birds also often build nests in prickly plants.
Try planting sweet bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), which has dense prickly branches and produces masses of pretty white flowers during summer, or prickly moses (Acacia verticillata), which produces with cheery yellow flower balls in winter and spring.
4. Construct a hollow
Birds such as kookaburras, owls and rosellas like to nest in tree hollows. Unfortunately, not many gardens have natural hollows, so consider buying or constructing a nesting box that can be mounted or tied to a tree in your backyard.
Ensure it is placed up high and away from predators.
Warty-fruited hakea (Hakea verrucosa) is another winter beauty with red flowers and needle-like foliage that provides
5. Provide fresh water
Wildlife can struggle on searing hot summer days. Help them cope by providing fresh water they can drink and cool off in.
Consider a floor-standing bird bath or, if space in your garden is tight, a hanging style that can be suspended from a tree.
Remember to top up the water regularly.
Source: Senior writer, Houzz Australia