Creating a Wildlife Garden

It doesn’t take much to take your garden and make it a sanctuary for wildlife.  You will need to choose the right plants and add things like bird feeders and baths, you need to provide shelter along with food and water.  Creating a wildlife garden starts with the plants you are going to put in, let’s have a look at the right plants you’re going to need.

Creating a Wildlife Garden

Plants, trees and shrubs

The plants and trees you put in your garden provide nesting sites and food for birds.  Birch, oak and willow bring in bees and insects and they in turn are a natural food source for birds and amphibians.  Throw in some wildflowers like cornflower, foxglove and honeysuckle also lure bees and butterflies into your garden.  You can also let a patch of the lawn just grow wildly, longer grass also gives shelter and attracts insects.  Here are some more plants you can put into your garden.

Bird baths and food

Bringing birds into the backyard is as simple as throwing up a birdfeeder.  If you have a well-stocked bird feeder in the yard, birds like easy to access food, always put the bird feeder away from the long grass so that predators can’t sneak up on them.  It is also best if the bird feeder has a quiet spot so they can eat uninterrupted.  Birds are not fussy either and they will eat almost anything.  You can put table scraps out like fruit, cheese, nuts and rice.  You can also grab already made birdseed some will attract a specific type of bird, like hummingbirds.  Whatever you do clean up the area regularly or you will end up with wildlife you don’t want…rats!

Creepy crawlies

Set aside a corner of your garden for and put in things like dead leaves, twigs and logs.  This will provide a home for moss, lichen and the creepy crawlies that breakdown dead wood.   Leave this space be in the winter because there may be critters hibernating in there.  If you can manage to put a pond into your backyard that will bring in insects, frogs, toads and newts.  While you may be tempted to stock the pond with fish or koi they will eat the insects and tadpoles that are trying to live there.

Not only will your backyard become a mini nature reserve you can do your part to help local wildlife survive and you never know which animals and birds that you will get to see up close.

Building a Backyard Pond

Having your own pond in your backyard is a great way to attract butterflies and birds to come in, you can make your pond any size you like and your yard can accommodate.  Your pond will be the focal point to your backyard space.  You can choose to have just a water feature or a pond with fish living in it.  You can have a prefab pond that you get at a home improvement store.  Building a backyard pond doesn’t have to be complicate, you can use barrels or containers and lots of accessories to make it unique.

Building a backyard pond

Location

Before you pick up a shovel and start digging up your backyard you need to take the time to consider where you are going to put it.  You want to find a space that lets you see it from your patio or deck, while it still blends into the natural beauty of your garden.  The pond shouldn’t go in an area that is too sunny nor should it be left completely in the shade under the trees.  If you have a pond with koi and it is in the direct sunlight the water can get too warm and harm your fish.  So a little bit of shade is just what you want.

Landscaping and Setting Up

Once you have figured out just where the pond is going to go it’s time to dig the hole.  The size of your pond should be proportional to your yard, not too  big to overwhelm nor too small that it’s barely noticeable.   You can create a free form pond with some rubber roofing material to line the inside or you can buy a pre-formed piece of fiberglass at a home improvement store.

You want your pond to look like it belongs in your backyard and to blend with the surroundings and that will mean some landscaping.  You can also add lights so that it also stands out at night.  Remember this pond is going to need a water filter and something to recycle the water especially if you have fish.

Fish

If you want to put koi or some other fish in your pond you need to get the depth right, especially if you live in a colder climate.  You need a pond that goes deeper than the frost line if you want your fish to make it through the winter months.  Fish also leave waste and bacteria in the water so a filtration system is a must so that they have clean water to live in.

There are a wide variety of plants that you can add to the pond that work with the surrounding landscaping and it gives a home for your fish.