If you are anything like me, there is nothing more enjoyable to you than sitting on your patio in the warm twilight air, sipping a cup of tea and watching the birds and insects trill around your garden. You don’t have to live in the heart of the country to enjoy this vision, either. Even if you are in an urban area, there are ways that you can, and should, be encouraging wildlife to find sanctuary in your yard. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your garden a natural paradise…no matter where you are.
Put up nesting boxes
Birds are somehow inextricably linked to the garden. Their colorful plumage and sweet songs serve to enhance the beauty of your flowers and cultivate a soothing environment. In order to keep your feathered friends around, it is a good idea to install nesting boxes in strategic locations around your yard. This will give birds a safe place to build their nests and lay eggs while bringing an exciting element of new life to your garden. There is nothing quite as exciting as watching baby birds take off from the nest for the very first time.
Be sure to research which birds are local to your area and install nesting boxes accordingly, as different species prefer different shapes and sizes. If you have a cat that goes outside, put a bell on their collar to prevent any unwanted hunting of your privileged guests.
This concept is definitely a two-edged coin and can quickly become problematic if done in the wrong way. Keep in mind, you are not trying to replace the natural food source of your local wildlife, you are merely trying to supplement it and encourage them to visit your garden for a treat. If you become the only source of food in the area, the animals will become dependant on you which can potentially harm the delicate balance of the eco-system.
It is always a good idea to use native plants in your garden. That way, you can attract the native wildlife while ensuring that your plants will thrive in your region specific conditions. Try growing thing that provide diet essentials such as berries, seeds, nuts, greens, fruits, and pollen.
Be sure to consider which animals you want visiting your garden and which you’d prefer to keep away before. For instance, squirrels and chipmunks love berries and nuts, while deer and rabbits usually feast on greens and vegetables. Consider installing a bird feeder to attract songbirds and plant plenty of vibrant flowers to encourage pollinators such as bees and butterflies to come and visit.
Along with scarcity of food, increasing urbanization of natural areas has caused many species to face a serious water shortage. Installing a water feature in your garden not only attracts wildlife such as frogs and water birds but also brings a calming serenity to your outdoor space. Try to keep a shallow dish or birdbath full as well for those smaller animals that cannot drink from a fountain or pond.
Plant a hedge
Consider planting a hedgerow in lieu of a solid fence. This way, you will still get the privacy of a barrier without creating unnecessary obstacles for wildlife to maneuver around. This living edge will serve as a windbreak and eye-catching boundary while still allowing small critters to pass through.
Though we don’t often consider bugs and worms to be wildlife, they really do play a crucial role in the health of your garden. Amend your soil with rich compost to provide a happy home for the crawling animals that do so much for your plants behind the scenes.
Ditch the pesticides
Using pesticides in your garden is one of the quickest ways to deter wildlife. Try researching natural pest control options to protect your garden from unwanted pests. Ditching pesticides is an essential step to ensure families health, the health of your pets, and the wellbeing of the beneficial creatures you are trying to attract.
Don’t aim for perfection
While a perfectly weed-free garden with a precisely manicured lawn may seem like every gardener’s dream, overzealous micro-managing can often do more harm than good. So don’t stress about perfection. Sometimes it’s best to let nature take its course and work with it rather than against it. This type of down-to-earth gardening is perhaps the best secret to making your garden a natural paradise.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for attracting wildlife? Let us know in the comments below.