How to get started

Whether you want a garden visit from our volunteers, are waiting for a visit or just want to get started, there are simple steps you may take. All gardens provide some habitat and adding some local plants improves the existing habitat. You don’t need to do a big make over to make a difference, start small and perhaps just change a 3m x 3m area.

Like us plants and animals need food, water and shelter to reproduce and for their populations to survive. Each species has particular habitat home) needs. Animals also have social needs and need to move safely through the environment. Plants need to spread their seeds.

Aim to use your garden, balcony, community garden, backyard or school veggie patch to create a living space or stopping off point for local wildlife. As more patches of native vegetation are lost through the expansion of urban area, our gardens help fill the gaps between existing vegetation along waterways, parks and in patches of bushland.

The Gardens for Wildlife program has a basic wildlife garden recipe that we like to share:

  • Plant in layers (groundcover, low shrubs, medium shrubs, trees)

  • Try to put elements like water, ponds, or mulch close to shelter and shrubs. The lawn is like ‘enemy territory’ that wildlife have to cross to get to safety.

  • A mature tree, native to your area.

  • Retain tree hollows.

  • Dense shrubs (prickly will help keep cats away!) where birds can shelter.

  • Cat-safe birdbaths.

  • A frog-friendly pond (good for dragonflies too).

  • A patch of natural mulch for beetles and worms.

  • Nectar plants for honeyeaters.

  • Spider-webs for birds to make nests.

  • Butterfly hosting plants.

Plant in layers and groups (groundcover, low shrubs, medium shrubs and trees)

Try to include elements like water, ponds or mulch close to shelter or shrubs. Install a frog-friendly pond (also good for dragon flies)

Think about the birds, butterflies and native animals you might attract and benefit when you buy or plant a cutting. Include local plants that are native to your area.

Retain mature trees that are native to your area and protect tree hollows in old trees, or install nest boxes or a bee hotel

Birdbaths safe from cats with shrubs for cover nearby

Leave a patch of natural mulch for beetles and worms

Blue-tongue lizards love munching on garden snails and slugs (so avoid using snail bait).

Nectar plants are great for honeyeaters- especially if they flower in winter

A frog-friendly pond