Gardening for Biodiversity
Gardening for biodiversity is about choosing plant species – native and non-natives that provide food for the native fauna such as butterflies, pollinators such as bees, and other insects. It is also about creating much-needed habitat for numerous wild creatures. For example, a small wood pile in one corner of your garden can provide habitat for many types of insects and fungi.
When we first bought our property it was 5 acres of paddocks with stands of mature trees. It had been this way for a couple of decades and the entire area was not supportive as a habitat or food source for all the different fauna in our area. We could hear the little wrens and robins in our neighbourhood but none were close to our home.
As soon as we purchased the property in 2005 we set about planting 100’s of native shrubs, taller shrubs and groundcovers to create the understory layers you find in the bush.
The results were quickly seen with all the glorious birds, lizards, insects, frogs and more coming into our garden. We have counted over 40 different bird species so far.
We are definitely not a strictly native-only garden and we’ve planted many herbs and non-natives that are proven to be wonderful insectary plants. Insectary gardens are filled with plants that attract the beneficial insects to your garden and provide them with habitat and high quality nectar and pollen.
"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
- Albert Einstein
One of the main aims of our gardening was to provide ourselves with food while respecting the environment and animals. We accomplish this by growing a diversity of plants, especially heirloom crops and native plants, as well as accepting and encouraging a wide variety of insect and animal species. Long term ecological balance is based on biodiversity, and gardening was a way that we could participate in bringing biodiversity back to our land.