Wildlife in Your Garden

By Ama H.Vannairachchy | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 26 2021
Look Wildlife in Your Garden

By Ama H.Vannairachchy 

Ceylon Today Features 

A garden without wildlife is not a complete garden. Wildlife adds life to a garden. It brings colour and noise to the garden. Plenty of wildlife in a garden is a gardener’s delight and it actually shows that the garden is a pleasant and suitable place for life to thrive. By making your little garden home to wildlife, you also contribute to the process of preserving the environment. Wildlife is not only birds and butterflies. It may be garden lizards, dragonflies, moths, porcupines, bats, frogs, different types of snails, various insects and bugs, fish, and even monkeys. 

Is wildlife a menace? 

Among them, some may harm your plants and you will feel like chasing them away or killing them. But, if you allow wildlife to flow naturally in your garden, trust me, things will be balanced and safe. I’ll give you one example if your garden has lots of snails, like mine, which sometimes might be disastrous, do not do anything to kill or throw away them; if you have Common Coucal birds in the vicinity or in your garden, the population of snails will be naturally controlled. 

If you find monkeys and parrots as a menace as they may destroy your plantains, papayas, and other fruits or vegetables, the best thing to do is, dedicate a small area, a tree or two for them. Also, you can fix a scarecrow in the rest of the area to keep that area safe. If you ever feel angry that a snail has eaten your favourite herb, or a monkey has eaten your ripen papaya, remember that they cannot go to the market and buy their food, nor can they grow them. So always feel happy about the fact that you provide food for them. 

What you can do to attract wildlife? 

Chose plants that attract wildlife

There are some flowering plants that attract butterflies and birds. Some plants provide shade and nesting places for wildlife. Flowering plants and wines like Lantanas, Thunbergia, Pagoda flowers, roses, pantas, rock violets attract wildlife. Trees and plants that has little berries will attract bats. Palms attract birds and squirrels when the nuts are ripened. Bud trees such as plantains, amabralla and papaya attract monkeys. 

Provide shelter 

Place some rocks under the sun. Butterflies love to enjoy the sun resting on a rock. Shrubby plants and trees provide shelter to many wildlife. Garden lizards love to rest on plants that has branches and little leaves. A full grown Idda tree provides shelter to little hummingbirds at night. Place an old tree log on one corner of your garden and place shrubby trees around it. 

Water 

A birdbath is surely a magnet to attract birds. Make sure it is placed on a safe and open space. For butterflies, the water source shouldn’t be deep. A shallow container with soil and sand with water will be perfect.

 

A bird feeder 

If you have natural food sources, placing a bird feeder is not necessary. But if you do not have enough fruits and berries, you can keep some nuts, seeds and fruits on a safe place. This birdfeeder may also attract squirrels. 

A pond 

Placing a pond in your garden is the best way to attract plenty of wildlife. This will attract dragonflies, frogs, and if you are lucky a tortoise or two. Make sure the pond has fish and plant water plants for them. If the pond gets enough sunlight, you can plant flowering water plants such as lilies, kumudu, and helmali. If it is shadier, types of papyrus will add an exotic mysterious sense to the garden. 

Keep it safe 

Make sure your garden is not visited by your or neighbour cats. 

Benefits of wildlife in your garden 

Having a garden full of wildlife is bliss. You contribute to keep the earth a better place and provide food and shelter to a large number of species and living beings. Such a garden is a pleasant place to visit and relax. You can photograph your wildlife, keep a journal, or do sketching. 

Your garden will also attract migrant birds and migrant species of dragonflies. You can observe them and take down notes. Don’t forget to enjoy the sun light shining across the transparent wings of a dragonfly. If you grow fruits and vegetables, you can enjoy your lime juice made out of your grown lime, while sitting in your garden paradise, watching the birds. Also remember that you don’t need yards and yards of land to have a garden full of wildlife. 

A little balcony garden can also attract wildlife. Learn to enjoy little joys in life such as seeing a baby garden lizard coming out of an egg, the chirp of the birds, a bright blue hummingbird visiting your garden or a bright red-green coloured lizard sunbathing on a branch.

By Ama H.Vannairachchy | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 26 2021

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