Melaleuca salicina – photo by planetnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
At a time when millions of our native animals have perished because of bushfires and many more will die from starvation and predation before the environment recovers, it seems appropriate, over the next few months, to discuss attracting native animals to your garden.
If your garden is devoid of wildlife, a few changes may be all that is required. Let’s start with birds.
A garden without birds is a barren place. Providing food, water and habitat will bring them in.
Native plants that fruit and flower throughout the year provide a regular food source for birds. Some birds consume nectar, others seeds or fruit, so consider, for a start – grevilleas, banksias, eucalypts, callistemons, grasses, acacias and melaleucas.
Growing plants of various heights and habits will increase the variety of birds by allowing different species to coexist.
Fresh water for birds to drink and bathe in will keep them coming back. Have a few baths of different depths and place in various positions around the garden. Empty often or mosquitoes will breed in the water. Birds prefer not to be exposed when they drink or bathe, so choose places that give protection.
If you have a free-roaming cat, your garden will not be an attractive environment for wildlife.
Plant of the month is Melaleuca salicina, a tree with white bottle brushes and pink new growth.
City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cooloolacityfarm.org