The secret is threefold – make the best use of space, leverage the whole neighbourhood, and provide the basics that serve the needs of wildlife: water, food shelter and nesting.
1. Every spot, pot, window sill, alley, balcony, stair, wall planting helps.
2. You can grow some plants in cracks in the concrete, or holes drilled in a driveway.
3. Use vertical space abundant in cities. Install support for climbers.
4. Use horizontal space above paving, backyards, driveways, alleys, roofs, by building pergolas to shade hot surfaces, lift plants to the sun, provide seasonal shade with deciduous plants.
5. Use roofs where possible.
6. Collaborate with neighbours to provide more wildlife habitat, increase wildlife safety and diversity, change by laws, and use available public space optimally.
7. A small pond, but even a bowl with a pebbles in it allows insects to drink.
8. Bushy or tangled growth.
9. Drywalls for solitary bees, lizards and more.
10. A little sandpit in a very sheltered spot for digger bees.
11. Piles of dead wood.
12. Make fencing, trellises and edging with vertical, woven or stacked branches, bamboo and reeds. These give you dual purpose building materials, creating useful structures and nesting space for wood dwelling insects, This is better than commercial insect nesting boxes and insect hotels, which can encourage parasitism or predation between the insects due to crowding.
13. Trees support more wildlife than all the others, but their footprint is so small. Plant where shade is needed or tolerable, on street or borders that don't block your sun.
14. Ensure your garden has a lot of insects and snails.
15. Allow plants to go to seed.
16. Plant flowers with nectaries
17. Grow plants which provide fruit.
18. Feed birds in big cities which have lost their bird habitat and food sources, but never stop once started, the birds will starve.
19. Grow any native plant that supports a lot of life forms, or even a single important one. Native plants co-evolved with native wildlife and may be co-dependent.
20. Don't kill 'pests': aphids feed beneficial insects, snails provide calcium to mother birds, all pests are preyed on by other creatures.
21. Remove fewer 'weeds'. Many are hosts for butterfly caterpillars.
22. For the soil's sake, don't pull weed roots up, trample the weeds to give other plants a chance. The creatures in the root zone are disturbed by pulling weeds. These soil animals feed snails and worms, and your plants.
23. Replace lawn with native ground covers or mow less and allow flowering weeds to sprout through it.
24. Grow native food plants, for wildlife diversity, food plant genetics and food security.
25. Animal diversity depends on plant diversity. Plant diverse plantings.
26. Use all tiers of the garden to maximize photosynthesis, producing food for all: canopy, under story, shrubs, herbaceous plants, ground covers and lianas.
So...its actually 26 tips. I thought you wouldn't mind !
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Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
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