Increase biodiversity in your garden

Image by Alexandra “a life without animals is not worth living” from Pixabay

The approaching spring may have prompted you to think about what to do with your garden this year. How about including a thing or two in your plan that will increase its biodiversity? This way you will be able to enjoy your garden in the knowledge that you are helping the nature in your local area to thrive.

The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all rely on biodiversity, but right now it is in crisis – because of us.

The Guardian (Why should you care)

Easy ways to increase biodiversity in gardens

Even a small, low maintenance garden has the potential to provide living conditions for a huge number of different species. The thing to keep in mind is variety: different species need different environments. The trick is to create multiple micro-environments.

Layering and staggering

Firstly, think of vertical layers: trees being the highest, followed by shrubs and bushes, and lastly, nearest to the ground annual and perennial plants. By designing vertical layers in your garden, you increase the amount of life per square meter.

Secondly, consider the flowering times. Staggered flowering times give you more pleasure of your garden over the course of the year, and from biodiversity point of view, that will provide for a greater variety of pollinating insects.

Become more organic

Organic gardening takes a holistic view of gardening, emphasizing the interdependence of life forms. A part of this is a minimal use of manufactured chemical substances. According to experts, to succeed in organic gardening, key is to identify which plants best fit the natural conditions of your garden. This way you are much more likely to cope without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Therefore, unless you already know they type of soil, the first step to take is to analyse it. You can try to do it yourself or you can have it tested. In the UK, e.g. the RHS does these tests for a fee.

Select plants for different pollinating insects

If you can avoid using pesticides, you’re already helping pollinators. You can do more by selecting plants that provide for more species. There are good online resources that help with this, e.g. RHS lists of plants for pollinators. With the RHS Find a Plant search engine, you can define your soil type, flowering time and tick the box for ‘Plants for Pollinators’, so it will help you to plan a staggered flowering for your specific garden conditions, so it helps you with organic gardening as well.

Garden features

How about the following features that will further increase the biodiversity of your garden?

  • Wildlife pond or water feature
  • Compost bin
  • Log pile
  • Bug hotel
  • Nest boxes for birds of different species
  • Hedgehog holes in fences and boundaries
Photo by Annett Keizer on Unsplash

Why should you care about biodiversity?

In short, biodiversity is vital for human life, and human actions have led to a situation where biodiversity loss is possibly even a greater threat for us than the climate change. If you’d like to know more, here is one excellent article about what biodiversity is and why it matters.

I have had a garden for three years and and so far there has been more defeats than victories. Therefore, I have just contacted a garden designer who is specialised in biodiversity. I hope that with his help, I will be able to build an organic garden with a lot of variety but easy maintenance. As ever, I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences!

3 thoughts on “Increase biodiversity in your garden”

  1. Useful information.Thank you for this article.
    RHS test type of soil and find a plant it very useful. Thank you for sharing this kind of information.
    BIODIVERSITY is the key word, I agree and I would like to spend more time studying about biodiversity and first of all involving children around me.

    1. Thank you for sharing the link Doogie, I didn’t know of the new King’s meadow. Will check it out this summer 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.