Biodiversity in the city – Georgina and Larry, Ringsend

We moved into our house in Ringsend in 2017 and while the garden at the back had some nice plants and shrubs and a lovely ornamental cherry tree all set around a grass lawn it seemed to lack something….so beginning Christmas 2020 we dug up the lawn, re-laid the planting areas and built a pond. The difference now in the amount of wildlife specifically bird and insect life in the garden is astounding – if we did not witness it with our own eyes every day, we would not believe it! We did a few other things too that seem to help in promoting diversity and bring a wide range of wildlife to the garden…
Garden organically, no pesticides
Leave plenty small dishes with water scattered around the garden so birds of different sizes can drink and wash
Grow plants mostly from seed
Grow plants with single flower heads mostly – easier for bees to pollinate and access
Leave seed heads in place, birds love them, seedlings find their own place to settle and we collect the rest to grow more plants for next year…
Echiums are wonderful for bees; left spikes in place after flowering and Goldfinches arrived in spring to gather dried sprigs to build their nests…the Goldfinches visit every day now to drink and wash in the pond…
Collect rainwater from shed roof filling water butts and excess to pond
Built a fence around birdfeeders…unintentionally it has become resting place for smaller birds and stops larger ones (mostly magpies, pigeons) coming close and stealing everything
Make our own compost, supplemented with grass cuttings collected from local park; invested in garden shredder which allows us create mulch from shrub cuttings so almost everything in the garden is re-used
Not too fussy about weeds and nettles, letting things grow where they settle and thrive…within reason!
Use variety planting materials…soil, water, gravel, sand; provides interest for growing different types of plants and birds use the gravel and sand to clean their beaks
We are enjoying days and now nights of pleasure from this garden and the creatures who visit it.

Georgina and Larry, Ringsend, Dublin



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