by Emma Spivey
Gardening is a hobby that can be enjoyed by just about anyone, no matter what their physical abilities may be. Making the garden more accessible can help folks continue with their love of gardening. A few simple changes to the garden can change nearly impossible garden work into accessible gardening pleasure.
What Makes a Garden Organic? - An organic garden is one in which you do not use synthetic products on the plants or soil. Synthetic products include things such as pesticides and fertilizers. Essentially, an organic garden is designed to replenish the resources it uses.
For example, when the soil becomes depleted you would “feed” the soil with composted plants. You might also plant legumes in areas in which nitrogen is depleted from the soil because of other plants. In this way you are cooperating with nature instead of working against it as many current gardening methods do.
There are three basic things that wildlife need: food, shelter, and water. If you provide these three things, many different species of wildlife will thrive in and around your garden. Below are some tips to making your garden a habitat and refuge for native fauna.
Tips for Making Your Garden Wildlife Friendly
1. Have a compost bin – a well maintained compost bin will attract insects such as spiders, snails, and worms. These insects will serve two purposes: a. they enhance the quality of the compost; b. they are a food source for various types of birds.
2. Make a frog and toad shelter – this can be created by simply placing a plant pot upside down in your garden. Frogs and toads will love the cool, dark shelter the pot plant will provide.
3. Attract bees – if you have firewood in your garden you can take a piece and drill a few hole is in it. Bees will take up residence in these holes, and you will be glad to have them as tenants. Bees provide pollination, which will be very beneficial to your plants.
4. Make a home for a hedgehog – if you have a pile of logs in your garden feel free to leave them there. The hedgehogs will appreciate the logs and may make them their home.
5. Grow some ivy – when ivy is properly managed it can attract all types of beautiful butterflies to your garden. Your garden can become a playground for numerous colorful, fascinating butterflies.
6. Have a water source – all wildlife needs water for various reasons. Whether for drinking or bathing, water is vital to the health of both your garden and the wildlife that inhabits it.
Balancing Ponds - Balancing ponds are ideal for areas with excessive rainfall. These ponds are designed to hold and store flood water. They help to filter the water and remove things like trace metals and organic matter.
Eco-Friendly Planting - Using eco-friendly planting helps to attract wildlife and increase the biodiversity in a garden. Plants can attracts wildlife such as butterflies, birds, and bees.
Rainwater Harvesting - Using diverters on down spouts to collect rainwater in barrels is an excellent way to harvest and reuse rainwater. It is estimated that approximately 25 percent of the water we currently use could potentially be harvested simply from the water that runs off our roofs. Rainwater harvesting is ideal for small gardens.
Sustainable Materials - Some garden materials will have more of an environmental impact than others. Less damaging materials should be used in an eco-friendly garden. Use materials that require less energy to manufacture and install, less energy to transport them, and that are least harmful to the garden and environment.
About the Author - Emma Spivey writes for solar fountains , her personal hobby blog focused on tips to design a garden using eco-friendly ways to protect wild birds.