Last weekend it was sunny and I had some spare time, so I decided to visit nearby Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. I always find the bushland is a great place to relax and to gain some garden inspiration.
One of the things I love about walking around a nearby reserve is to gain an idea of what plants grow naturally in my area, what they look like, when they flower and what animals they attract. In theory, if we plant some of these plants in our garden, then we increase our chances of attracting local wildlife to our garden.
Admittedly my initial plan was to grow mostly indigenous plants in our garden for that reason, but I have planted the garden with quite a few species that are native to other parts of Australia. There is still plenty of room to put in some more though.
On my walk, I found the following plants to be flowering: Sweet Wattle (Acacia suaveolens), Needlebush (Hakea sericea), Sundew (Drosera sp.) and a white form of Common Heath (Epacris impressa). The Acacia and Hakea were both attracting a lot of insect pollinators – something that I would like to attract more of in our garden. I am now thinking about reading up more on the Hakea sericea and seeing if I can get one for our yard.
It is also worth observing the birdlife and then reading more about them to find out what they eat and where they nest. An example is the Spotted Pardalote. I saw both a male and female flitting about the bushland on my walk. We have luckily had a pair of them nest at our house right outside the bedroom window, which became a bird hide for a few months. The male would often tap at his reflection on our window. Spotted Pardalotes build nests by excavating a hole in an earth bank, which we had beside our driveway. There was also an old root sticking out near the hole they dug, which was a perfect place for the birds to perch before disappearing into the nest. There are a lot of large eucalypts in our area, where they love to hang out in the canopy to collect insects and lerps. Unfortunately, they didn’t come back last breeding season, but we are hoping they come back another time.