2016 February Encouraging Insects and Birds into Gardens

The first Sustainability visit for the 2016 Goldfields Sustainability Group  events calendar was at Brian &Val Park’s bush garden to learn about native plants and ways of encouraging insects and birds into our gardens. Under cloudless blue skies Brian and Val explained that last year the garden received 342 mm of rain. It has received 100 mm since September 2015.

Water for gardening is limited and so aquaponics is a useful alternative way to grow vegetables.  This also avoids invasive tree roots.  Frogs have taken up residence from time to time near the water tanks. The dry season seems to have reduced bird numbers but wrens, pardalotes and honeyeaters are often seen in the garden. There are 3 nesting boxes for pardalotes under the house veranda. There are bird boxes, a bat box and possum box in the adjacent trees.  Brian and Val encourage wildlife but this means that they have to net the orchard and any plants they don’t want to risk being eaten. A wallaby has been observed (and photographed) reaching through the netting to pick and enjoy eating a rose. Insects are encouraged as well with a bee motel (a box with holes) and a large greybox has a beehive in it.  Even several species of ants are given space for a home and are free to do their natural thing in this dry but very attractive, insect and bird (and wallaby) attracting garden design.

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Brian introducing the garden system

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Northern aspect of the garden