By: Michael Fox
Allison’s garden is a great example of a habitat haven created for wildlife and people. A typical suburban two-dimensional grass and dirt garden converted to a thriving wildlife habitat in just fourteen months. All without losing the inviting grassed play area for the kids.
Stingless Native Bees Tetragonula sp. are tiny black insects smaller than house flies that collect nectar and pollen to store in their hive. These tiny bees are amazing pollinators of everything from citrus to Macadamia Nut trees Macadamia integrifolia.
Unfortunately they sometimes also obsessively collect seeds of the local weed tree: Cadaghi Corymbia torelliana, that clog the entry to their hive.
“If you build it, they will come.” Field of Dreams (movie)
In this case “Dale” the Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula has taken a tenancy. Visit Bunnings for a step by step guide to building your own Possum box.
Hoverflies are another but little known pollinator which also provide valuable pest control services in your garden. Hoverfly larvae are predators of many soft body insects such as aphids, scale insects, thrips and caterpillars.
A Butterfly Puddling Place is a great way to provide water for wildlife. All animals need water, however, butterflies, bees and other insects, like hoverflies, need to be able to land and drink safely.
Male butterflies also collect minerals and salts that are transferred to the female during mating to help with egg development.
Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea and Climbing Guinea Flower Hibbertia scandens are both tough spectacular natives that bees love and perform well as either ground cover scramblers or climbers.
The traditional backyard citrus trees or south-east Queensland native Finger Limes Citrus australasica are popular caterpillar food for Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus.
A Backyard Bee Home is a good way to provide shelter for native solitary bees and range of other insects. Attracting insects to the garden is a valuable way to provide food for insect eating birds like the Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus and bonus you get free “natural” pest controllers like Orange Caterpillar Parasite Wasp.
Allison also introduced me to Butterfly Houses something I had never heard of before. I am interested in following the progress with the Butterfly House as all the information I found online referred to winter in cold climates like the United Kingdom.
Frogs are serendipitous and welcome residents in Allison’s garden. An attractive frog pond replaced the out-of-control swimming pool and the Bleating Tree Frogs Litoria dentata use hollows in the pool fence for shelter.
Mozzie control is handled by Pacific Blue Eyes Pseudomugil signifer native fish found in coastal streams along the east coast of Australia.
An exotic species Sun Parasol Giant Pink Mandevilla hybrid provides caterpillar food for Common Crow Euploea core butterflies.
Green Tree Frogs Litoria caerulea are even having special accommodation provided as part of the new vertical garden.
Allison’s Pollinator Link garden is providing links for wildlife and building links with neighbours who value the bumper crops resulting from the pollination services provided by native bees.
Very inspiring, thank you!