Additional considerations for garden design
When gardening for wildlife, it is worth considering an area of grasslands or “un-gardened” areas in bigger blocks, where native grasses, logs, rocks and native shrubs are left to provide habitat for birds, small mammals, frogs, lizards and insects. The kind of biodiversity that comes with the “untidy” sections of larger gardens or paddocks, can often be the richest of all.
Historically, creeks and rivers were less confined to channels and were bordered by significant riparian vegetation. Along the main rivers and creek this comprised She Oaks and shrubs such as tea trees, sandpaper figs, bursaria and even lilly pillies in the wetter upland areas. Within the wetlands and waterflow areas, tall reed and rushes grew which served to hold and slow water on its way downstream. These rushes, such as phragmites and Cumbungi are important wetland plants for habitat and erosion control. These areas can be planted with suitable riparian plants or wetland species depending on location in the catchment; flooding should be considered for any planting plan.
Another tip is to look around your local area to see what is growing well. Take a walk or a drive around the neighbourhood and then jump online to identify species of interest. A great starting point is the Atlas of Living Australia. This is a free resource where individuals can upload and search biodiversity data for their local area. Visit the site at http://www.ala.org.au – you can explore your local environment by entering either your street address or your postcode.