All this while, we have been talking a lot about urban gardening. But after visiting my relative’s place in Kerala earlier this monsoon season, did I realize that gardening to attract wildlife is not very difficult and wouldn’t take a lot of space. If you make good use of the place, you can attract a lot of birds & insects to your garden. In fact you can start a garden to attract wildlife with just a balcony space.
Even if all you have is a balcony, you can still attract plenty of birds and butterflies with wildlife gardening. Adjusting the rules of wildlife gardening to fit your space is pretty easy. Here are some tips for each category:
Food. Hang a variety of nectar plants in hanging baskets for butterflies and hummingbirds. Do the same for bird feeders – don’t forget a hummingbird feeder. If you’re worried about mess from seed feeders, buy a feeder that has a tray underneath to catch the overflow.
Water. There are some really cool bird baths available now that are meant to be mounted to a deck railing.
Shelter. If you have trees nearby your balcony, this will help automatically with shelter. If not, consider adding a couple of small shrubs in pots nearby your feeders, so birds have a place to perch as they scope out the situation. You could also mount a roosting box for birds to take shelter if the balcony is in a windy place.
A Place to Raise Young. Not all birds will comfortably nest on a balcony so close to people, but some of them, such as sparrows & barbets are usually happy to nest just about anywhere. Provide a small nesting box, or try an old-fashioned jar, like the kind colonial people mounted near their doors to attracting nesting sparrows that would keep pest bugs in check. For butterflies, try adding a few small host plants, like milkweed and parsley, mixed with nectar plants to create all-in-one butterfly planters.
Don’t forget to provide yourself with a comfortable place nearby to watch your visitors.
For further information on organic gardening, get in touch with Vandana at 9535025938 or send in a mail at [email protected]
Credits: Birds & Blooms