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Backyards 4 Wildlife Overview

Front Garden with local native speciesThe Backyards for Wildlife (B4W) initiative has been promoting the planting of local native species in urban gardens as a way of increasing the connectivity and amount of Adelaide’s bushland habitat, from the coast to the hills. By selecting indigenous plants, gardeners can help re-create some of the important ecological relationships that have been lost from their local areas.  These native habitat gardens can provide food and shelter for local wildlife, thereby supporting many of our threatened species into the future.

One of the keys to bringing back the Adelaide bush is in using plants grown from seed which has been gathered from local remnants. By doing this, gardeners can help to protect and maintain the genetic integrity of the bushland indigenous to the Adelaide region. These local plant varieties are adapted to local soils and climatic conditions, surviving for generations on rainfall alone. In this age of diminishing water supplies, using these drought tolerant species makes good sense.

Backyards 4 Wildlife Principles BFW Garden

It is not difficult to create a Backyards 4 Wildlife garden. You simply need to consider the following when next you venture into the garden:

  1. Use native plants that have been grown from seed or cuttings collected from local provenance (e.g. coastal, riparian, plains and foothills).
  2. Provide garden structure with 5 layers including: tall trees, smaller trees and tall shrubs, a medium shrub layer, small shrubs and herbs, and a litter layer.
  3. Use an assortment of plants that flower during all seasons.
  4. Keep your pets under control.
  5. Use alternatives to chemicals whenever possible in the garden.

Other important considerations include the use of mulch to encourage insects that in turn will encourage lizards and birds. Mulch will also improve soil condition, control weeds and reduce water loss. Garden features such as bird-baths, hollow logs, ponds, rocks and nesting boxes will all support biodiversity in your backyard.

The principles of establishing a B4W garden can be applied on any scale, ranging from a balcony or patio pot, to the largest garden. They can also be applied in any locality and on any budget. We invite you to explore the B4W website to find out more now, or bookmark us to use the site as a planning resource and come back later.

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Page last updated - Thursday 25-Oct-12