We’ve been working on our backyard for awhile now… and for inspiration I’ve been binge watching British gardening shows. Specifically, Big Dreams, Small Spaces where Monte Don helps homeowners re-imagine their backyards and turn them into fantasy gardens. At the same time, we decided to create a Certified Backyard Habitat* so we needed to find ways to provide shelter and sources of food and water for birds, butterflies, lady bugs, bees and toads.
A condo of sorts can be devised using bits and bobs from your garden. Just take a crate or wood planks and stack with bricks or pavers and tuck in bark, pine cones, straw and clay pots to make levels and nesting spaces. Hang a few bee hotels filled with hollow bamboo nearby and provide butterfly resting and feeding stations with shallow saucers filled with oranges, stones and water.
It is early planting season now, so we are filling our herb garden with pots of parsley, lavender, thyme, lemon balm and several types of basil. Some we are choosing to cook with and some are just beneficial for our garden habitat. We’ve placed clay pots upside down and sideways to make toad abodes and set out several puddlers to provide water and essential minerals for butterflies.
We are seeing lots of activity already! We are also seeding our lawn with micro clover which is evergreen, can be mowed and naturally adds nitrogen to the soil. Next up is the addition of native plants to attract even more critters to our garden. Even though we have a small yard, it is starting to feel like a haven and it is delightful to look around and see all of the buzzing about that is going on.
*To register a Certified Backyard Habitat, go to https://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/Certify for more information.
Resources: “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” (Netflix); bee and insect hotels (Gardeners Supply); toad abodes and puddlers (Etsy); Micro Clover seeds (Amazon); herbs and native plants (your local nursery or garden club).