As gardeners and nature lovers we are on the forefront of preservation. In a time when our wild places keep shrinking, there are many things we can do in order to make it a little easier on our wild friends that rely on nature for their survival. As I wrote on this previous post on Habitat Fragmentation, creating ‘ribbons of vegetation’ is one of the best ways to promote biodiversity. By enlarging our existing garden beds and planting a few more natives, we would ensure the survival of many species. I will make it my mission this year, not so much in creating new beds, as much as enlarging the ones I already have. The wider and more diverse beds provide more habitat for an incredible amount of wildlife, amphibians and insects pollinators.
This photo was taken in my garden last summer. My perennial beds are on average between four and seven feet wide. Last fall, I started planting just outside the existing beds to widen them and also making it easier to connect one planting area to another ultimately having a continuous corridor through the entire garden.
I will love for all of us to make an effort to make our gardens a joyful, safe and environmentally friendly space for us and our friends human and wild.
“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers and the dreams are as beautiful” Abram L. Urban
Habitat fragmentation is, in my opinion, one of the biggest unnatural calamities that our native wildlife has sustained in the last century. Land development and suburban sprawl has been taken place all around us at the expense of wildlife habitat. Miles upon miles of roads and highways, blacktops in the form of parking lots, shopping centers and driveways, and huge expanses of lawn are added every year in our country alone. Read the statistics as presented by Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy Wildlife Ecology and Entomologist professor at the University of Delaware, in this post.
I know, a lot of bad news, if you care. And I care. That is why I have Changed the way that I garden and hopefully persuade you to do the same, in any big or small capacity that you can. Here are some of the ways in which we can contribute to the survival of many species of insect pollinators, birds and small mammals in our gardens:
- Go organic, start slow by limiting the amount of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizes. I make my case in this post “Why Organic?” .
- Start a compost pile. Why throw away good organic matter? Check out my super easy compost system .
- Create new garden beds that provide habitats and increase biodiversity in your garden. It is easier than you think. See this post
- Incorporate more native plants into your landscapes. Small trees, shrubs and perennials provide food and sheller to birds and pollinators.
- Connect your garden beds to create ‘ribbons of vegetation’ so species can move within a wider range. This allows small mammals, birds, and small invertebrates to find mates, food and shelter to improve biodiversity.
- Provide water sources. Even a small bird bath, a basin for water loving plants or any size pond, will increase sustainability and ensure the survival of many species.
“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.”
― Albert Einstein