It’s difficult to find a person who doesn’t enjoy the sight of a colourful bird or the buzz of a passing butterfly. These beneficial critters enhance our landscapes, aid in pest management, and seed and pollinate our gardens. In this blog post, we take a look at how to create your very own wildlife-friendly garden, inviting more bees, butterflies and birds onto your doorstep.
Gardening is our way to reconnect with nature. You learn to embrace the seasons, soil, water, and sunlight that make your produce and plants grow. And gardening that is wildlife-friendly allows pollinating insects, birds, and other animals to coexist with us. By being conscious of what animals your flowers and foliage will attract, you’re giving these animals a place to feed, nest and rest.
Local wildlife, including insects and mammals, thrive alongside locally indigenous plants.
Plant locally indigenous plants that are adapted to the climate of the region of South Africa where you live to attract these little visitors.
And, with an indigenous flora of over 20 000 plant species, accounting for more than 10% of the world’s plants, you’re sure to find plants to enjoy in your garden that thrive in your climate.
Plants native to your area can also save you water, as many are adapted to survive without additional irrigation during dry seasons.
Visit our range of indigenous plants to start your wildlife-friendly garden.
With more than 900 bird species, including migratory species, southern African gardens can attract a variety of avian visitors. Bird watching in your garden is also a great way to introduce children to nature while also allowing yourself to learn more about the environment around you.
Even the smallest garden can host a feathery friend. A small tree or shrub can provide a bird with a place to rest its tired wings, a haven to feed, a spot to feel safe and maybe even to nest.
And in return, birds will help your garden, too! They work hard at controlling the insect population, aerating the soil and providing you with the gift of birdsong.
Plant the following trees, shrubs and perennials to welcome birds to your wildlife-friendly garden.
All the trees listed are small to medium-sized trees with non-invasive root systems that can be planted in small gardens as well.
- Pecan nut ‘Ukalinga’
- Halleria lucida – the tree fuschia or Notsung
Birds are able to perch among dense shrubbery, as well as scratch around and forage among the leaves and mulch on the garden ground.
Plant these as a border around the open area in your garden, leading into your woodland area or as groundcovers for the foragers.
Nurture and cultivate a wildlife-friendly garden that supports biodiversity by growing plants that are bee-friendly. Bees are incredibly important to our ecosystems. They increase our flower blooms and edible crops through pollination.
Scent is what bees use to find flowers from a distance. Choose sweetly scented and nectar-rich plants to attract them to your garden. They are also attracted to blue, yellow, white and purple flowers, but will only see these colours as they fly in closer.
For an ultra-inviting garden, plant a variety of flowers in larger groups of similar flowers.
- Aloe orange delight
- Delosperma cooper
- Euryops virgineus
- Plumbago auriculata Royal Cape®
- Vygie ‘purple parade’
More than ever, your garden should be your sanctuary, your escape! The pollinating carpenter bees and nectarivorous birds find and move into gardens with indigenous plants. And they make it peaceful, interesting and good for the planet. Make time to spend outside and document the rich variety of different wildlife that may come and visit.
You may also be interested in: our article category, Gardening for wellbeing. Shop your favourite indoor and outdoor plants at plantland.co.za. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information and inspiration.