Making Your Garden Flora & Fauna Aware
Basic environmental considerations
Before you make a garden, it is essential to consider basic environmental factors: Will the trees grow too big for the garden? Will any of the plants cause problems for neighbours? Will the plants affect water mains, drains, sewers, power-lines, paving, roadways etc? Are there existing trees and plants which need to be conserved? Are any of the plants you are planting potential new weeds? Where will garden wastes be recycled? Do I really need to use a lot of fertiliser? Can I avoid using materials like moss rocks and timber taken from natural habitat areas?
If there are remnant native plants on your property, conserve them.
Wherever you are located in Burnside, you might have a remnant native tree. The smaller growing trees are rarer because their value is less often recognized and they are easy to remove by mistake. Native Cypress Pine, Drooping Sheoak, Native Apricot, Native Cherry, Golden Wattle, Wirrilda and Blackwood are all in this category.
Remnant native grasses and other ground flora species can be found on undeveloped land particularly in the hills face areas.
Council's Biodiversity officer is always happy to look at your property with you and help you plan to make the most of the natural assets of the property.
When planting local species, ensure they are propagated from local seed sources.
Try to create a natural woodland landscape within the usage and aesthetic dictates of a small residential property. Larger hills face properties have the opportunity to fully restore areas as woodlands. Where property holders are managing their properties well, we can direct resources to adjoining Council land to compliment work done by residents.
Average gardens may have lots of birds in them but they will be the common generalist and competitive species which compete with and evict the small, specialist species. Local native flora is best for attracting the less common local animal species.
Even small patches of native grass and herbaceous species can support native butterflies, small skinks etc. The larger the animal species, the more the area of habitat needed. This is why one habitat garden in the middle of the suburbs will not make much difference to wildlife. If 10% of backyards were habitat gardens, there would be enough habitat to support a wide range of native birds.
Good examples of habitat gardens in Burnside can be seen at Linden Gardens, Beaumont Common, and Pepper Street Gallery.