How to attract birds, bees and wildlife to your garden

You can create a habitat for natural wildlife that attracts birds, bees and insects. Bunnings Greenlife Buyer Katie outlines some easy ways to do this in your own backyard.

A garden full of variety

To attract a variety of wildlife, birds and insects to your garden, you can create a tiered effect with a mixture of ground level plants, mid-level shrubs and trees in your backyard. This encourages birds to live amongst the canopy of the trees and shrubs. Native wildlife will nest and hide under the trees and within bushes. Whereas insects will live underneath mulch and within ground covers. 

A few well-placed rocks or small boulders spread through your garden or along a garden path can provide nice resting spots for small lizards. Rocks absorb heat which insects and reptiles need for their energy.

Attract birds to your yard

Attract birds to your yard

Having water in your garden is a good way to attract wild and native birds. A bird bath will give them a place to have a drink and a paddle.  An elevated bird bath will also help them to feel safe from any predators like cats. Make sure that the water is shallow enough for birds to stand in so they can clean their feathers. You should also clean it out regularly so that the birds avoid picking up any water-borne illnesses or diseases. Bird feeders are another way to attract birds to your garden but you’ll need to decide on which birds you want in your garden, and pick a seed mix accordingly.

The more native plants you have in your garden, the more birds that you can attract. Native plants that attract birds include kowhai, flax, kakabeak and cordylines.

Attract bees to your garden

Attract bees to your garden

Attracting bees to your garden is a great way to keep it healthy and vibrant. Mix flowers amongst your vegetables which can help to increase your harvest, because the bees will help the vegies develop by pollinating them. The most bee-friendly coloured flowers are yellow, blue and purple. Lavender as a long-flowering plant is a good choice, as are 'forget me nots' and nasturtiums.

Add flowers to your garden

Birds and insects are attracted to flowers because they produce sugar (nectar) and protein (pollen), which is the basis of their diet. If you can create a garden with flowers blooming throughout the year, it may even encourage wildlife and birds to set up a home in your garden permanently. Native flowers are also a great way to attract native wildlife.

Hybrid varieties of flowers and plants are something to avoid in your garden if you want to attract birds. Hybrids have been bred for commercial fruit or their appearance and they often lack the nectar that birds and bees are looking for.

Get mulching

A layer of mulch around your plants can attract loads of insects to your garden, as well as improve your soil quality. Mulch provides a moist habitat that insects and worms love. The best mulch to use in your backyard would include native leaf litter, which comes from pruning and mulching the branches from your own native trees.

Start gardening

Check out the full range of garden products available at your local Bunnings.

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