Building A Biodiverse Garden & The Benefits of Being in Nature

WOW Factor: Just being in nature has the potential to help us feel joyful, calm, and filled with contentment. As a biodiverse garden mimics the natural world, it can help you connect with these emotions in your own backyard. The best part? Nature does most of the work for you.

Re-building Our Connection To Nature

In our highly connected, highly digitized world, how is that many of us often feel  disconnected and disengaged? The answer it turns out, may be simpler than we’d like to think. Have we simply lost our connection to nature?

The Benefits of Being in Nature

New research is exploring the physiological impact being in nature has on our emotional state. This work supports the theory that just being in nature has the potential to help us feel joyful, calm, and filled with contentment. 

As environmentalist, Andy Goldworthy, has so aptly stated:

“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”

Andy Goldworthy, Environmentalist

Re-wilding Your Daily Routine

So if we’ve lost our connection to nature, how do we bring it back into our daily lives?

Outdoor recreation such as surfing, skiing, hiking, and backpacking are some of our favorite ways to re-connect with nature, find flow, and re-connect with ourselves. However, for those that live in cities, such outdoor endeavors may be out of reach or simply too few and far between.

So why not start by bringing back nature, in all of it’s messy and bio-diverse glory, into your garden?

Below, we’ve complied some simple tips on how to bring biodiversity into your garden.

Let Your Garden Grow Wild

This is probably the easiest and most significant thing you can do to create more biodiversity in your garden. And all you have to do is pour yourself a beverage and soak in the sunshine, while your plants do all the work for you.

Letting your grass grow tall, watching dandelions (and other plant species) creep in, and leaving your hedges for the birds all summer, will help you attract insects, insect eating birds, insect eating mammals, larger birds of prey, and mammalian predators.

Think about it, wild forests, jungles, and grasslands proliferate in breath-taking biodiversity all year round, without any help from us. So for certain periods of time, let nature take the lead and tend to your garden less.

Create Havens For Little Creatures to Thrive

Bird boxes, insect hotels, or even a bat box are all ways to roll out the welcome mat for the little guys you want around. Planting native trees and shrubs are also a great way to attract local birds. Other ways to attract insects:

  • Stack a few piles of sticks or logs around your garden.
  • Create small havens under shrubs, hedges, and around the edges of your garden.

Wood stacks will also help to create humid shelter for a diverse array of creatures, giving them a better chance to thrive.

Add Water to Your Garden

Adding one or more water features to your biodiverse garden will help to attract birds, toads, and other wildlife.

Water features could be as simple as a birdbath or as involved as a pond or stream. Running or bubbling water is particularly attractive to birds – thus consider fountain features.

By providing a habitat for a whole new palate of plants, you may also attract a new range of aquatic wildlife. Think frogs, dragonflies and fish. 

Choose Your Plants Wisely

Do a little research before you go shopping for your garden and check to see if your region has deemed certain plants invasive or harmful to the local flora and fauna. Not only do foreign and invasive species generally require more natural resources and labor to survive, they can also change the composition of your garden and potentially spread outside your garden walls –to devastating effect on your region’s biodiversity.

For example, if allowed to escape, invasive species can completely drown out local indigenous species, thereby reducing biodiversity and establishing monocultures. These changes also have a devastating affect on local insects, animals and birds. 

Thus, it’s best to go with native species when planting your garden. Not only will native species thrive with the least amount of input, they will also encourage visits from local insects, birds, and wildlife.

Become An Organic Gardener

Because a biodiverse garden is very welcoming to beneficial birds and insects that keep pest insects under control, you will naturally have fewer problems with pests.  

Chemical pesticides can harm these beneficial helpers and destroy the healthy functioning of a biodiverse garden.

Enjoy Your Garden

Reap the benefits of just being in nature by enjoying your newly biodiverse garden. Just by being in your garden you will begin to notice more of nature around you.

You can also observe areas of your garden that may need a little help and continue to add biodiversity to your garden.

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