Have you ever visited a garden that is truly alive with all the creatures that live in it or visit it? Pretty birds and butterflies flying about; buzzing bees and creepy crawlies; lizards, toad and sometimes even a few animals peeping from under the plants.
Did you know that you can help nature survive in your own little space? You don’t need to have a big plot of land to be kind to nature. Even small gardens can be wildlife friendly and be home to different creatures and plants. Every little acts of kindness towards wildlife can make a difference to the creatures in your area. In nature, different creatures and plants depend on each other to survive. By creating a wildlife garden or a wildlife friendly garden we are helping to keep this balance in nature and we might also be helping a certain type of creature to survive.
What is a wildlife garden?
A wildlife garden is an area with different types of plants and spaces that wildlife likes to visit and sometimes live in. If it is big enough it might include a few animals, but mostly these creatures would be birds, butterflies, bees, reptiles and other creatures. All of these creatures have the same basic needs: food, water, shelter and breeding areas. They will feel safe in this area and not be scared to come there. These different areas are called habitats and we will look at these in more detail on the next page.
Who can create a wildlife garden?
Almost anybody that has a space for a garden can make it wildlife friendly. If you only have a little bit of space you will not be able to have all the different creatures living there. Some people with only a balcony and potted plants manage to attract insects and a few bird visitors.
Children, don’t think this is only for adults. You can also help to make the yard a place that wildlife wants to visit. We will be sharing many ways that you can get involved and create a place that is pleasing to the wildlife in your area, even if it is just a corner of the garden. An added bonus is that this will also help you a lot with school projects. You will be able to do a lot of your nature study in your own yard.
Why make a Wildlife Garden?
You might be surprised at how much good one little wildlife garden can do for the wildlife in your area and for other gardeners. Once you know how much you are helping your local wildlife then you will want to get your friends and neighbours to start their own wildlife garden. With a few people in your area helping the wildlife you will start to see more wild creatures visiting and living in gardens near you.
Why is this important? Many wild creatures are losing their natural homes when areas are cleared for building and farming. Some are being killed by people using poisons to kill insects and weeds in their gardens. You can create homes for some of these creatures in your garden.
Gardeners use poisonous sprays to control insects that are harming their plants. Another way to get rid of the bad bugs is to have more good bugs that eat some of these unwanted visitors. When there are more birds, then more insects will be eaten by them as well. Eventually there will be a balance between the good and the bad creatures that will keep other gardeners in your area happy too.
Wildlife gardening is good for the soil. The soil supplies food to the plants and this food needs to be replaced. The best way to do this is by making compost and adding it to the soil. We have already talked about using a mulch layer in your wildlife garden and this is turned to compost by the creatures that live in it. By doing this your garden is making its own food to feed the soil and you will have healthier plants.
Let's move on and find out about some of the different habitats.
[pictures from PixaBay free images]