Creating a Wildlife Garden


Photo by Vincent Van

A wildlife garden can bring beauty and tranquillity to your surrounds with butterflies, birds, bees, and other wildlife.

Bringing wildlife to your garden has many benefits, we have a better connection with nature where we can learn to co-exist with the natural environment and encourage insects such as butterflies, dragonflies, bees, birds, reptiles and amphibians to your surroundings while creating a peaceful and relaxing retreat.
Making a wildlife garden supports the local flora and fauna while providing them with a nature inspired habitat such as a sanctuary for solitary bees, ladybirds, & beetles made out of bamboo canes, old logs, bricks, twigs and straw or a wildflower meadow, a rock garden, a pond, bog garden or a water feature to encourage frogs, birds and dragonflies.
Flowers & nectar rich plants not only look attractive in the garden but can also appeal to insect pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths which collect pollen and for birds which eat seeds and berries.

A bird house, bird table, hanging feeders or a bird bath can also help encourage birds to your surroundings especially if they are close to the house where you can view them from your window.

Trees, shrubs, hedging and wall climbers are also great for providing a hiding place or an nesting area for birds and also lizards.
Earthworms are great for aerating and improving the quality of the soil and can also provide food for various wildlife.
Leaving in weeds such as dandelions, daisies, thistles, poppies, bell flowers, doves-foot, bind-weed and wild carrot not only encourages bees, butterflies and other insects but can look amazing in a wild flower meadow with long grasses in a small area of your garden or mixed with plants within a raised border, Ants are also good for gathering and dispersing seeds.

Adding a variety of different shaped flowers to your garden can encourage several types of insects.
Flower shapes include tubular, bell, funnel, saucer, rosette and funnel shapes which come in many colours and sizes.
Some bees, wasps, moths and butterflies have long tongues known as proboscis which feed on pollen and nectar and can reach far into the flower, Some flower types are also only pollinated by hummingbirds.

Other ideas to encourage wildlife include: Creating a home for solitary bees, creating a wild flower meadow, bog garden, water feature or a pond, attracting more butterflies and creating a haven for birds.

Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha is a volcanic island 2,000 km from St Helena an Island near to the South Western Coast of Africa.
Tristan da Cunha is part of a group of Islands which include Inaccessible Island, Nightingale Island, middle Island, Stollenhoff island & Gough Island. Tristan da Cunha being the largest.
It was given the name after the Portuguese explorer Tristao da Cunha who was the first person to make a note of the islands destination after passing in stormy weather, This Island consists of mostly mountainous areas but with even ground on the North West Coast, Mary’s peak is the highest mountain which reaches up to 2,002 m high.
Tristan da Cunha has a community of 262 residents on the Island with a settlement known as Edinburgh of the Seven seas, the other Islands have no inhabitants apart from a weather Station on Gough Island.
It has a wide range of plants and wildlife especially birds, Tristan da Cunha contains 37 endemic plants including ferns,trees and grasses. Phylica arborea is a native tree that grows as dense thickets on the Island.
Pelargonium grossularioides a trailing fruit scented leaf pelargonium with purple red flowers native to a wide area of South Africa which was introduced to Tristan da Cunha and is now a native species there. P, acugnaticum is a closely related species of P. grossularioides which is very similar in appearance and may even be a form of P. grossularioides is also native to this Island.
Wildlife on the Island include Rock hopper penguins, Brown noddies, Tristan Skuas, Sooty shearwaters, great shearwaters, Grey petrels and Tristan albatross (that only breed on inaccessible & Gough islands).
In 2011 there was an oil spill on the North Western shore of the Island of Nightingale, an Island that was inhabited by northern Rock hopper penguins, these penguins were under threat and were brought to Tristan da Cunha for cleaning, they are now an endangered species & have been reducing in number by 90% from the 1950s maybe also because of pollution.
They are known for their spiky yellow and black feathers on their heads and are the smallest of the crested penguins.