Butterflies, birds, lizards, frogs, bandicoots, possums and echidnas – they’re all on the lookout for good homes in Lennox. In return for food and accommodation they can offer morning melodies, light entertainment and spontaneous moments of awe and wonder. Sharing your home, well ideally just your garden, with wildlife can be such a treat and when done properly can provide real habitat for our favourite creatures.
If you’re keen to establish some wildlife habitat in your garden, or improve on what you already have, now is probably as good a time as any to do so. Generally speaking these next couple of months are ideal times for planting. We normally see a bit of rain, temperatures are mild and there’s enough time for new plants to establish their root systems before the hot summer months.
Creating habitat gardens that both you and the wildlife will love does require some thought and planning. Here are a few tips to get your garden growing in the right direction.
Try to plant local natives
Do your best to plant species which are local to Lennox. This what our wildlife have adapted to and rely on for food and shelter.
Include a variety of plants which produce different food types, such as nectar, fruits, berries and seeds.
Try to mimic the height layering found in nature, ie plant a mix of tree, shrub and ground plants.
To attract small birds like fairy-wrens, include dense thickets of shrubs. This will offer protection from predators like butcherbirds, pied currawongs and cats.
When purchasing your plants (there are a few great native nurseries around), check that your plant is suited to your soil type.
If you need inspiration go for a walk on the Headland or the coastal track and observe the layers and plants in the landscape.
Provide reliable water
For wildlife to really settle in they need a reliable source of water.
Hanging bird baths are best for small birds. These should be hung in spots with shrubs nearby for birds to shelter.
A frog pond is a wonderful asset to the garden but researching how to make them cane toad proof is highly recommended!
Lizards lap up water from shallow dishes placed on the ground.
Leave the leaves
Leaf litter is habitat for insects and insects are food for frogs, lizards, birds (especially fairy-wrens) and small mammals. Rocks, boulders and fallen branches also provide shelter for lizards and frogs.
You may not want your leaf litter and reptile habitat right next to your house – leave the leaves in areas where you’re comfortable with the wildlife living.
Find out more
The following resources offer great local information;
Ballina Shire Urban Garden Guide available on Ballina Council’s website.
My Local Native Garden – a planting guide to promote biodiversity in the Byron Shire available on the Brunswick Valley Landcare website.
Native Species Planting Guide for Tweed and Byron Shires, an interactive online database of local native plants @
And of course we’re always here to help.
If you would like to join us, please contact us or simply turn up to one of our working bees.