Creating habitats for wildlife in our garden, schools, businesses and local areas...
Gardenings that focus on supporting wildlife support biodiversity which is essential for the resilience of all life systems.
There are insufficient green spaces for wildlife to thrive in council owned areas alone, so it is imperative that we consider how our schools, residential and commercial spaces can support local wildlife.
By careful planning in our gardens with a diverse range of plants and elements, we can foster greater biodiversity. Informed plant choices assist in creating habitats that can support a variety of life-forms including providing a safe, comfortable environment with shelter to hibernate, breed, sleep and rest, access to nesting/breeding materials, water and food. Its essentail to ensure domestic pets do not threaten the wildlife and talk to your local council if you find wild cats in your area.
Creating a garden for wildlife is an easy action we can take locally to support the lives of many species struggling. Globally, we are seeing an increase in threatened and endangered species due to many factors, with loss of habitat being one of the largest causes. The huge decline in insect populations has repercussions on bird-life and food-farming as a result. Our food web is threatened and food security, an issue currently in many parts of the world and very likely in our future without substantial, meaningful actions. We are seeing signs of planetary systems collapse around our world which has led to us to the term climate and ecological collapse or emergency. We can take small, constructive steps as a contribution to mitigate the damage and suffering from these predicted scenarios by increasing biodiversity in our immediate environments.
Edward O. Wilson defined the term Biophilia as “The innate sense of belonging to the natural world”. Biofilia is the concept that humans have an innate inner connection with all of nature, and this connection is essential for our biological, psychological and spiritual well-being. When we foster close relationships with nature, we understand that there are many sensory aspects of being with nature, as part of nature, that we can tune in to benefit ourselves as part of the intricately interwoven web of life. Our well-being is enhanced by being in and caring for nature. Some careful planning and design elements will maintain, invite and support insects, birds, and other wildlife, and we can enjoy these reciprical relationships. The focus for our gardens and green spaces needs to be high-nutrient value for humans and high-biodiversity value for the other life forms surrounding us.
Tips for planning and preparing to attract and support wildlife:
Involve everyone who uses the garden to ensure the greatest success of the project. Projects with the highest success rates are often those which have the greatest support. Engage the whole family or community in the project as it increases success by encouraging a sense of ownership, belonging and respect as well as many benefits of being outdoors with Nature.
Common name, botanical name, sun/shade preference (FS/PS), (H) height & (W) width.
* Recommended high-biodiversity value plants by Gio Fitzpatrick local ecology consultant and expert, see more info below.
Groundcovers and low growing plants:
* Large-headed daisy Brachyscombe diversifolia FS/PS H:45cm x W:80-120cm
* Common Everlasting Daisy, Yellow Buttons Chrysocephalum apiculatum FS/PS H:10-30cm x W:100cm
* Austral Stork’s Bill Pelargonium australe
* Common Everlasting Daisy Chrysocephalum apiculatum FS/PS H:10-30cm x W:100cm
Karkalla Carpobrotus rossii FS H:20cm x W:250cm
Rounded Noon Flower Disphyma crassifolium FS H:15cm x W:250cm
Running Postman Kennedia prostrata FS/PS H:10cm x W:100-200cm
Common/creeping Boobiala Myoporum parvifolium FS/PS H:10-20cm x W:150-200cm
Bent Goodenia Goodenia geniculata FS/PS H:5-10cm x W:30cm
Sticky Everlasting Daisy Xerochrysum viscosum FS/PS H:50-80cm x W:30cm
Swamp Daisy Brachyscome cardiocarpa FS/PS H:10-30cm x W:20cm
Bower Spinach Tetragonia implexicoma FS/PS H:20-30cm x W:200cm
Warrigal Greens/Native Spinach Tetragonia tetragonioides FS/PS H:20-30cm x W:200cm
Murnong Yam Daisy Microseris lanceolata FS/PS H:30cm x W:30cm
Native River Mint Mentha australis FS/PS H:30cm x W:100cm
Kidney weed (lawn substitute) Dichondra repens FS/PS H:20cm x W:60cm
Strappy plants: Flax, Grasses, Sedges
* Weeping Grass Microlena stipoides FS/PS
* Small-flower Flax-lily Dianella brevicaulis
* Weeping Grass Microlena stripides FS/PS H:100cm x W:30-60cm
* Spiney Headed Mat-rush Lomandra longifolia FS/PS H:90-120cm x W:100cm
* Red fruit saw sedge Gahnia sieberiana FS/PS H:200cm x W:150cm
Chocolate Lily Arthropodium strictum FS/PS H:30-60cm x W:80cm
Yellow Bulbine-lily/Native Leek Bulbine bulbosa FS/PS H:20-40cm x W:20-30cm
Pale Flax Lily Dianella longifolia var. longifolia FS/PS H:30-60cm x W:50cm
Spreading Flax Lily Dianella revoluta FS/PS H:30-60cm x W:50cm
Native Flax Linum marginale FS/PS H:30-80cm x W:30cm
Tufted Bluebell Wahlenberia communis FS/PS H:15-50cm x W:15-40cm
Tall Bluebell Wahlenberia sticta FS/PS H:20-30cm x W:10-20cm
Common Tussock Grass Poa labillardieri FS/PS H:30-70cm x W:40cm
Coastal Tussock Grass Poa poiformis FS/PS H:30-70cm x W:40cm
Knobby Club-sedge Fininia nodosa FS/PS H:50-150cm x W:60-200cm
Pale Mat-rush Juncus pallidus FS/PS H:50-230cm x W:30-100cm
Water Plants: Aquatic plants
* Native Wisteria Hardenbergia violacea FS/PS
* Common Appleberry Billardiera scandens FS/PS
* Native small-leaf Clematis Clematis microphyllia FS/PS
Love Creeper Comesperma volubile PS
Native Blackberry Rubus parvifolius FS
Shrubs: (1mt plus height)
* Common Boobiala, False Boobyalla, Blueberry Tree Myoporum insulari (coastal areas) FS/PS H:200-500cm x W:300-600cm
* Hedge Wattle Acacia paradoxa FS H:200-400cm x W: 200-500cm
* Seaberry Saltbush Rhagodia candolleana FS H:200-400cm x W: 200-400cm
* Coast Beard Heath Leucopogon parviflorus FS H:100-400cm x W: 200-300cm
* Tree Everlasting Ozothamnus ferrugineus FS/PS H:200-600cm x W:100-300cm
* Lignum Duma florulenta FS/PS H:200cm x W:200cm
* Common Correa/Native Fuchsia Correa Reflexa FS/PS H:100-120cm x W:150cm
* Kangaroo Apple Solanum laciniatum FS/PS H:100-300cm x W:100-300cm
Anglesea Grevillea Grevillea infecunda FS/PS H:300cm-1200cm x W:200cm
Rosemary Grevillea Grevillea rosmarinifolia FS/PS H:300cm-1200cm x W:200cm
Coastal Everylasting Daisy Bush Ozothamnus turbinatus FS/PS H:200-500cm x W:100-300cm
Silver Banksia Banksia marginata FS/PS H:100-500cm x W: 100-300cm
Slender Velvet Bush Lasiopetalum baueri PS H:100cm x W:100cm
Coastal Saltbush Atriplex cinerea FS H:100-120 x W:120cm
White Correa Correa alba FS/PS H:150cm x W:150cm
Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata FS/PS H:100-120cm x W:100-120cm
Berry Saltbush Atriplex semibaccata FS H:40-80cm x W:100-150cm
Common Heath Epacris impressa FS H:150-100cm x W:20-60cm
Indigo Indigofera australis FS/PS H:100-120cm x W:100-120cm
Showy Bossiaea Bossiaea cinerea FS/PS H:100-120cm x W:100-120cm
Silky Tea-tree Leptospermum myrsinoides FS/PS H:50-250cm x W:100cm
Coastal Wattle Acacia longifolia FS H:100-300cm x W:400-800cm
Prickly Tea-tree Leptospermum contentale FS/PS H:100-400cm x W:100-200cm
Sea Box Alyxia buxifolia FS/PS H:150cm x W:200cm
Silky Guinea-flower Hibbertia sericea FS/PS H:50cm x W:120cm
Cushion Bush Leucophyta brownii FS H:60-100cm x W:60-100cm
Midgen Berry Austromyrtus dulcis FS/PS H:40-50cm x W:100-150cm
Native Thyme Prostanthera incisa FS/PS H:200cm x W:100cm
Bottlebush Callistemon FS/PS H&W varies
Trees (H&W of trees are in metres. Consider what is an approapriate possible hights in an urban garden, your specific conditions, underground utilities etc.)
* Black Wattle Acacia mearnsii FS/PS H:5-15mt x W: 3-5mt
* Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata FS/PS H:4-11 mts x W:3-6 mts
* Meally Stringybark Eucalyptus cephalocarpa 15–24 m
* Sweet Bursaria Bursaria spinosa FS/PS H:4-6 mts x W:2-4mts
* Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata FS H:8-30 mts
Gold Dust Wattle Acacia acinacea FS H: 2mt x W: 1.5
Coastal Tea-tree Leptospermum laevigatum FS/PS H:2-8 mts x W:2-4mts
Pin-cushion hakea Hakea laurina FS H:2-6 mts x W:5mts
Edible native plants
LOCAL INDIGENOUS NURSERIES
CITY OF PORT PHILLIP
GLEN EIRA DISTRICT
SPECIAL THANKS TO GIO FITZPATRICK: Local naturalist and ecology consultant.
Gio is a multi-award-winning naturalist with an incredible knowledge about our local birdlife, plants and ecosystems. Gio is currently working at the Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve project which was the former Elsternwick Golf Course. Gio facilitates biodiversity surveys, workshops, walks and informational sessions.
Gios Website: Living Space Ecology
ABC: The Secret LIves of Our Urban Birds
EcoBat Tube nest box plans - Introduction (EcoCentre/ Gio Fitzpatrick) When Gio began volunteering at Port Phillip EcoCentre when he was 11 years old with a focus on researching, designing, installing and maintaining nest boxes. Videos here. Gio also sells his local bird book which informs us of which birds are in decline, and what plants we can use to encourage them.
Gios story in 5-mins video.
LOCAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND HORTICULTURAL SERVICES:
Please contact the Port Phillip EcoCentre or Greensong for local horticulture, permaculture, landscape design, workshops, and consultations.
South East areas of Melbourne
(Outside these areas - an additional travel time allowance is additional according to quote)
SINGAPORE - See an environment education Early Years project: Designing to attract birds and butterflies in Singapore. http://environmenteducation.weebly.com/butterfly-garden--tropical-singapore.html
© Deborah Punton
© Deborah Punton