Wonderful Wildlife Community Posts

CandideZA
Published on March 6th 2020
17
A close up of a small bird on a branch
Our gardens are wildlife havens - a place where a variety of birds, bugs and mammals can find food, shelter, and safety in our ever-urbanizing world. As we invite different species to our gardens we also get the opportunity to learn more about some of South Africa's most common species - up close and personal.
Creating a garden that sustains and protects wildlife not only helps to ensure their survival but also brings immense delight to the gardener.
A pink flower on a plant
Photo by @susanbrand.
With a focus on World Wildlife Day this week, we saw it fitting to share our community's fascinating posts on wildlife found in their gardens and great tips for gardening with wildlife in mind.

Just add water!

By adding a pond or pristine water resource to your garden, you'll invite numerous insects, amphibians and even birds to your garden.
A close up of a rock
"Water features attract birds, butterflies & the like adding to garden-life." Photo by @lizz_pather.
Tip | Check out these posts by @lizz_pather and @SmallSpaceGardens for tips and inspiration:

lizz_pather

Garden ‘rock’ type water features for small spaces. I hardly see these types of water features in home gardens anymore😕in fact I hardly see water features in home gardens 😒Water features attract birds, butterflies & the like adding to garden-life.

SmallSpaceGardens

Even the smallest garden ponds have so many benefits 💚💙. Ours is a simple set up of a dug hole lined with a rubber pond liner (tear resistant) as our substrate is oil sand and not clay. We fill it with our harvested rain water and it is circulated by a small pump. It tends to dry out a bit near the end of summer when our water reserves are low but this is a good opportunity to give it a clean. Here are some of the great things even the smallest pond can do for you and the environment: 🐸Benefit local wildlife - biodiversity in a garden is key. Ponds provide a habitat, water source and breeding site for small animals and insects, many of whom help to keep pests under control. 🙏A beautiful focal point - placing a seat or bench close by is lovely as a space for calm reflection after a long day. 🌿They can create more ideal microclimates for plants growing nearby, moderate temperatures and add moisture. 🌧Careful thought out construction can help with soggy spots or trap rain runoff for storage and later use. 👧👦Ponds can be things of great beauty and wonder - and so also provide an opportunity for interaction with and education about the natural world both for children and adults alike. A micro-habitat as an outdoor classroom, to inspire a new generation of naturalists.

Ponds create safe spaces for dragonflies and damselflies to complete their lifecycle. These insects are fantastic predators and will aid in natural pest control.
A close up of a flower
Photo by @donblom
Tip | Have you ever seen a dragonfly nymph moult into a dragonfly? @JamesDouglas and @ArneStander both share their sightings, take a look at the post below:
Ponds also attract frogs to your garden, another creature that helps to naturally control pest populations.
A close up of a flower garden
Photo by @susie-harris-leblond.
Here are two stunning frogs captured by gardeners @Klippie and @janienwilkens:
A frog on a white surface
Photo @Klippie.
A close up of a frog
Photo by @janienwilkens.
Tip | Have a pond but no frogs? Gardener @prowsek shares a great tip on creating a 'frog ladder'. Tap the post below to check it out!

Incredible insects

Insects play a vital role in the garden and provide many services to the garden that the gardener will never be able to fulfil by themselves, like natural pest control, pollination of flowers, and enhancing soil fertility. A garden with a diversity of insects is a healthy, productive garden.
Below are a few posts revealing the splendour of insect diversity that we get to enjoy in our gardens.
  • Butterflies
A colorful butterfly on a flower
diversity of butterflies captured by @SLD70.
Weird and Wonderful
These critters are just outright incredible! Check out the posts below to see some of the most bizarre six-legged beasts.

Bounty for Birds

Here are some tips for attracting birds to your garden:
  • Plant specific plants that are good sources of nectar and those that provide materials for building nests.
A colorful bird perched on a flower
Southern Double Collared sunbird feasting on Aloe nectar. Photo by @yellow_chives.
A bird sitting on a tree branch
"Choose trees to attract birds to your garden." Photo by @elainscape.
  • Provide additional food resources like birdseed and fresh fruit.
A bird sitting on a branch
Cape weaver feasting enjoying fruit. Photo @yellow_chives.
Tip | Check out this awesome post by @GrowWhatYouEat on making your own seed shapes.
  • Set up a birdbath where birds can perch for a drink and clean their feathers.
A pot that is sitting in a garden
Photo by @tracy_moore.
Just be aware that your furry housemates might also find delight in this comfortable spot...
A statue of a cat in a garden
"Clearly not what the bird bath was intended for!" Photo by @GardenSandra.

Are you creating a wildlife-friendly garden? Share your garden using the hashtag #WildlifeFriendly in your post.

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