How To Make Your Garden A Wildlife Haven

This post was originally written in 2017, but was updated in 8/23..

There’s nothing more beautiful than waking up, stepping outside into your garden, and hearing a flurry of wildlife. From birdsong to crickets chirping, there can be a lot of potential for wildlife to exist and flourish in your yard. In our modern times, so many meadows and fields have been developed, it’s hard to find wild places for animals to live. There are so many different ways to attract wildlife to your garden and ensure that it’s the perfect place for a whole variety of different creatures. Even if you don’t have acres of land.  This is a great idea if you’d love a garden that feels truly alive, vibrant and completely natural.

Previously I wrote about attracting pollinators to the yard. First there was a post on bringing honey bees into your garden. Lots of different plants were discussed, but if you need a refresher, hardy salvia, lavender, and rudbeckia are all great additions.  The second part of the pollinator series was a post on how to make a  Butterfly Garden  in 5 steps. Last month I wrote How to Attract Birds to Your Yard.

So, today let’s look at some of the clever ways you can make your garden the perfect home for all your favorite animals and insects. 

1. Homes for Insects

If you’re a keen gardener you will know that insects will flourish just about anywhere. Why do you need insects? First some insects which include bees and butterflies help to pollinate plants. Helpful insects are good in the garden. Second birds will be attracted to your garden to eat the insects. You should already have a compost pile in your yard which will be a great home for earth worms and gives you free nutrients for your garden. But you can encourage more helpful insects into your garden with a few small changes and some good old-fashioned DIY.

If you want the perfect nest for ladybugs, just tie some bamboo strands together and place it in the little nook of a tree or even just a crack in the wall. You might have some cracks or holes in your patio. It’s tempting to fill these in, but they too could provide the perfect opportunity for nesting insects. And, don’t sweep away the dead leaves left over in your garden too quickly. That’s just another place insects can call home in your garden. You’ll find directions for building a Bee B & B  in your garden at  The Royal Society For The Protection of Birds.  

2. Add Some Logs

Adding logs to your garden will attract a huge variety of little land mammals and insects. It’s the perfect place for them to call home. Be aware that you might not always see the type of animals we’re talking about because they are often nocturnal. But they could still be there. And that’s why you might want to reconsider moving logs from your garden if they’ve been there for a while. You might find a creature is happily living in between them. You can find out how to build a log stack on How To Build A Log Pile To Attract Insects .

3. Add a water feature or two

Ponds are home not only to fish but also frogs and toads

A water feature is a great addition to your garden, especially as it can offer a tranquil space to enjoy as a household. For wildlife, it can bring in a lot of activity, especially when it comes to water. Bird baths attract the obvious but they can also attract other wildlife that might be needing to quench their first.

Add water lilies to your pond

If you build a pond in your back garden, it’s great for keeping fish, but that’s not the only animal that might be attracted to it. You might also bring in frogs and newts, as long as the sides of the pond are shallow enough for them to jump in and out. If you want to make a pond even more enticing for these types of animals, you might add some plants that they love like lilies. One of the most important parts of the puzzle when setting up a pond is the liner. This stops water seeping out and keeps the rest of your garden nice and dry. You can get liners online and ensure that you’re digging it the right way. If you are keeping fish, you’ll need a filter system as well to keep the water nice and clean.

5. Providing The Resources

Lastly in my other posts I mentioned lots of different plants that are perfect for bees, butterflies, and birds in your garden. Make sure you have a variety of different plants and include native plantings. Knowing what benefits wildlife the most is important to know. Do your research and identify beautiful flowers like the bobo hydrangea, that help attract a few wildlife and bugs to your garden. There will be some that really encourage unique wildlife that you might not have seen before, so do some digging.

Make your garden a wildlife haven

Feeding stations can provide you with hours of fun observing wildlife in your back yard and are a good educational tool with children. Bird feed is something that will encourage a lot of birds to visit your yard. Don’t forget to slice overripe fruit for a tray for butterflies.

 I hope I’ve inspired you with ideas for attracting wildlife to your garden. Thanks for visiting!

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

43 thoughts to “How To Make Your Garden A Wildlife Haven”

  1. The bees are loving my lavender this year! It’s one of the plants that the deer and rabbits leave alone so it flourishes in my yard. I also notice that the birds like to eat the lavender’s seeds in the fall.

  2. Hey we are neighbors. I also live in the Tampa Bay area so it was great to read the tips. So many garden posts are written with other areas in mind. Pinned.

    1. Great! I love meeting new neighbors. I try to write posts most folks can use but I’m often talking about my plants like pentas, hibiscus, crotons. I mean our yards aren’t full of roses and northern spring bulbs, right?

  3. Great ideas! I love the wildlife in my yard. We are surrounded by oak trees, so we see so many types of birds, bugs, squirrels and once a cayote and we welcome them all! I’m going to install a couple of bat boxes soon as well!

    1. You must have a lot more land than my postage stamp yard. I get to see birds, bugs, lizards, frogs, and squirrels, but nothing from a woods. I’m envious!

      1. Actually, I don’t. I live in a highly populated section of the city and maybe a half an acre. The neighborhood was built in the 1950’s…back when they kept the trees and built around them. It’s all due to the trees surrounding me. The coyote? I have no idea where that guy came from but he didn’t want to be here. He was scared.

        1. Wow! I bet he was scared – no place to hide. All I get are feral cats. I’m feeding several nightly by leaving out dry and water. My friend next door has caught numerous ones over the years and most end up in her house. She has 3 cats right now and like me can’t do what she used to do. So we don’t bring them in – which is almost impossible for some of them. My guy is all black and I saw him next to the house in the garden at twilight the first time. He’s so scared and he runs when he sees me. But he comes back and eats in the dark.

  4. Great tips and photographs. I love birds and our yard is a haven for them like yours. I’m a Floridian, too – on the Space Coast. Nice to meet you. Stop by Gail-Friends some time.

    1. Oh thank you so much. I’m going to visit your blog now. Don’t you love meeting new folks through blogs? I do.

  5. Hi Carol, thanks for joining us at #overthemoon with your tips for making our gardens more attractive to wildlife. I love the squirrel so cute! Have a lovely day and see you next week.

    1. Great post, I love attracting wildlife to the garden. How about joining my link up today Weds, all topics very welcome ! Is This Mutton dot com

  6. Great post!
    I spend 3 – 4 months of the year in the Tampa Bay area. Years ago, I tried planting lavender, to no avail. It does great in TN, although this year I got a Spanish lavender plant from Trader Joe’s, but the blooms didn’t last long. It’s still alive, but no flowers. I’ve had luck with gladiolus and sunflowers. Can’t wait to try more when I move back for good.

    1. I’ve never tried growing lavender. I’ve read that they do not like high humidity which is a constant 8 months of the year.

  7. These are some grate tips. I love to see birds, butterflies, and bees but there are some insects that I would rather not see. I don’t bother them as long as they do not bother me but I don’t enccourage them to visit. 🙂 I am loving my birds this year. I want more butterflies. They love my roses and my lantana. Thanks for posting at #aclwcc.

  8. Hi Carol, Happy Monday to you! I appreciate these garden wildlife ideas. Pinned ?.
    Visiting today from Hearth & Soul #4&5

  9. Beautiful post about making our garden a wildlife wonderland. Instead of logs I’d plant a tree. Saw your post at SSPS#274. My shares this time are #169 through 173. Wishing you a great day. Nancy Andes at Colors 4 Health.

  10. Well done, love your ideas, just wish we had a big enough garden to do what you suggested.
    I visited you via Tuesdays with a Twist #538!
    I linked up this week with = 17 and this is a friendly reminder to come and join us at SeniorSalonPitStop. You will find the linkup information under BLOGGING.

  11. Beautiful post, and great tips. I wish all people would understand the importance of wildlife in your garden. I’m allergic to ones that keep destroying the biodiversity, which is happening around here quite a lot. But lets hope that even times like this will pass and people will start appreciating the nature around them more than they do.

  12. I like your ideas here. I just like having a lot of wildlife around. Not so much the bugs, but I like the birds and squirrels and little animals like that. But I guess we all have to get along together don’t we!

    Enjoyed your post! Laurie

    1. Just remember bees and butterflies are “bugs” or insects. Also birds look for “bugs” to eat. I’m not suggesting letting buggy critters overrun your yard. Just remember to no use pesticides that kill the butterflies and bees.

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