and Managing Urban Wildlife Habitat
Nature conservation begins at
your own front door
Designing “Proudly South African” Bio-Diverse
Indigenous Landscapes that bring nature back into your Garden
A short video showing some of the plants and creature found in my own
"Proudly South African Garden"
Principles of Good Landscape Design
start on your project you must consider that the garden being
designed must be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. To achieve
these goals the basic principles of landscape planning and design must
be known and adhered to at all
times if you are going to produce a functional refuge for wildlife that
is also a pleasing design that will make others want to follow your
garden site carefully
and decide on what you want to achieve before you start. Design
garden to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible as your garden will
a difference to the biodiversity of your immediate environment and by
a good pleasing design you may, if you do it correctly encourage your
neighbours and the wider community to follow your good example.
I will not go into any depth on the basic principles of landscape
design in this article other that to briefly mention them.
The main principles are colour, line, form, texture and scale,
design principles also include unity, balance, transition,
proportion, rhythm, repetition and simplicity. All these principles
to yield the intended design.
When deciding on the major plant elements to be used in the landscape
in particular trees, consideration of their mature size must be taken
into account to avoid major problems later.
family and other needs
providing a refuge for wildlife and something pleasing to look at a
landscape should also be an outdoor extension of the indoor living
areas, it should be functional and provide space for family and other
have listed some basic design principles for bringing wildlife in
particular birds and butterflies into
- Plant for vertical and horizontal structure:
Simplified garden structure and design may seem convenient but reduces
the volume and variety of food and shelter for birds and other
wildlife. A garden is a place to plant plants so do not be afraid to do
- Plant for shelter: Several shrubs planted close
together will form dense, protective thickets, this provides habitat
for birds and other creatures.
- Plant suitable food plants: Birds and other
wildlife will be attracted to your garden primarily to find food in the
form of fruit, nectar and seed as well as insects. These can be
supplied by planting suitable shrubs, native grasses and ground covers.
- Plant local plants: That is plants that grow
naturally in your area which are most suited to your local conditions.
They will provide the right food and shelter for local native birds and
wildlife and are unable to become unwanted plants in adjacent natural
- Create diversity: Birds butterflies and
other creatures use ground covers, grasses, small, medium and large
shrubs for both food and cover.
- Plant below trees: This maintains the natural
recycling balance of organic products in the garden. A dense under
storey is natural and provides habitat for the creatures you are
intending to attract into your garden.
- Reduce the area of lawn: Replace lawn areas
with garden beds as far as is possible. Only plant native grasses, many
of which produce valuable food for certain seed eating birds
is an important part of landscape management and cannot be
avoided. Even the most perfectly designed and installed landscape
fail if not managed correctly, this means regular appropriate
However, many maintenance problems are designed into landscapes which
can be avoided by good planning. Complex designs usually require far
- Provide water: By incorporating an
aquatic habitat into the garden design a vastly increased variety of
creatures can be attracted into the garden, in addition birds need
water. This can be provided in the form of a pond or bird drinking
The installation of a misting device to spray onto a section of the
vegetation midmorning will bring a large number of birds into your
garden to bathe on the wet leaves, in particular species such as white
eyes and sunbirds.
invasive maintenance must be planned so as not to interfere with the
breeding of birds or other creatures in the garden the best time
usually being at the end of winter just before the spring growth begins
Landscapes and Gardens that are Nature
Indigenous Landscape Design Consultant
Designing and creating “Proudly South African” Bio-Diverse Indigenous
design “Proudly South African” landscapes
and gardens of distinction that are Bio-Diverse as well as being
pleasing to the eye.
use my many years of landscape planning and
design as well as landscape construction experience coupled to my vast
knowledge of the requirements of nature to create habitat suitable for
butterflies and other creatures to live and breed in.
apply the basic principles of good
landscape design to create an aesthetically pleasing garden that at the
time satisfies the living requirements of the target creatures that I
like to attract. My speciality is to attract birds, butterflies and
bees. I design and build Bio-Diverse Roof Gardens
let Ecoman design and create a
garden for you right now that will be a haven for wildlife such as
butterflies, frogs and lizards in the number of species comparable to