One good way to connect with nature is to invite it into our own backyards. When landscaping our yards, we can plant native plants and create a diverse, balanced environment that local wildlife can call home.
Think of your landscaping as an integral part of the local environment. Having wildlife in the garden is a great way to educate children about protecting the natural biodiversity of our wildlife species and their habitats.
Wild animals require shelter and breeding space to survive. The following provide some basis for landscaping with wildlife in mind.
Source Materials Responsibly
In your garden you can create mini habitats that provide shelters and food sources for wildlife.
It is important to source your materials environmentally. Do not source rocks from native bush areas or buy logs with natural hollows so that such valuable resources are not removed from natural wildlife habitats.
Instead, use terracotta, plastic pots, pipes, or scrap timber to simulate natural shelters and nesting sites of wildlife species. If you do not have suitable materials at home, visit a recycle depot near you and see what treasures you may find.
Maintain spaces at corners of your garden for fallen leaf litter, branches, logs or other organic matter. They can provide wildlife habitat and shelter while saving you time in maintenance and upkeep.
Leaf litter and twigs left on the ground provide valuable habitat and shelter for insects, spiders, slugs, worms, lizards and frogs which in turn become valuable food for birds and larger animals. The material also provides great mulch for keeping weeds down and helping with water retention.
Decaying organic matter on the ground provide habitat for fungi. Fungi helps with the decaying process, returning nutrients back to the soil. They are also a valuable food source for many invertebrates and native mammals.
Consider the use of native hedge species for edging or privacy screens. Prune and trim your native plant hedge to a desired size and height to a neat and attractive screen while also providing safe nest sites, shelter from predators and food source for a variety of wildlife species.