After giving it a lot of thought I decided to start my wildlife garden project despite the ongoing Corona-Crisis. This has various reasons: For one we will probably be cooped up at home for quite a while and I want to do something useful with my time. Furthermore, I was lucky enough to keep my job and I'm currently working from home, so I don't have any money problems at the moment and I want to help local businesses to stay alive in this crisis. But the most important reason for doing this is why I wanted to remodel my little garden in the first place: To help wildlife to survive.
Lately, I spend a lot of time in my garden (for obvious reasons...CORONA!! - it's everywhere, isn't it?) and the signs of spring aren't missable in my garden anymore. Everything is getting green again. The roses and my wild wine is growing like weed, birds are visiting more frequently not only to look for food but for nest materials as well. Flowers are blooming and every day I see wild bees drinking from their blossoms. You can see that they are eagerly looking for food and I want to give them more than my little garden is currently able to offer.
Only Tulip blooming in my little garden © Earth.Life.You
So I decided it was time to order the plants and materials I need to start with my wildlife garden project from a local garden supply store. This way I can help the insects and other wildlife, support a local business and spend my time at home in a useful and nice way. Don't worry, I checked with the garden supply shop and the delivery will be performed in front of the common staircase and with as little of human contact as possible. To minimize the risk of infection.
Since I want to draw a comparison between my current garden and my future wildlife garden I will now give you a little overview of what is living in my garden at the moment. That we all can (hopefully) see a difference in what and how often to find it in my garden. So I will give you a list of animals I was able to observe:
Let's start the list with my most frequent visitor. The great tit (I know it's juvenile but I still can't believe that's the right translation. When I first looked up the English translation I thought it was some kind of prank ;-) ). Right now we have one pair of great tits visiting our little garden almost every day. They are feeding on our birdhouse and searching at the ground for insects and sometimes they even sit in our maple tree and eat aphids. I'm fairly sure, we had more than one pair when we moved in. It was a gang of at least four or five.
Great Tits searching for food (Click on the ride side) © Earth.Life.You
Other birds I regularly watch are a pair of blackbirds. Especially in spring, they are eagerly searching for insects in the dry leaves on the ground. A few days ago I even watched a female blackbird collecting materials for her nest. And today I even saw two goldfinches feeding at the birdhouse and I even managed to take a picture!! Sadly just with my phone, but still :D . I think I saw one some other time but I can't be sure, because it left as soon as I realized that it didn't exactly look like a great tit. All the birds are not only cute to look at, but are also very beneficial to minimize insects, who might harm your plants.
Blackbird and Goldfinches (Click on the right side) © Earth.Life.You
Another little animal that lives in my garden is a mouse. I'm not quite sure if it is only one mouse, but I only ever saw one mouse at a time. Our mouse is not particularly timid. Sometimes you can spot her scurry through the grass in broad daylight and at night she once even walked right below our chairs. I personally find that little mouse very cute and I never had any damage on any plants and she doesn't seem to have any interest in my vegetable patch. Mice can actually be very beneficial for your garden because they eat insects, larva and snails. The only not so pleasant experience I had with the mouse was when she accidentally entered my flat... two times... Maybe I will tell you these stories some other time.
Our little mouse, isn't she cute? © Earth.Life.You
Let's go on to the even smaller creatures in my little garden:
Wild bees and bumblebees: Especially in spring I see a lot of those beneficial creatures in the garden. They pollinate plants, as probably all of you already know ;). Bumblebees are very gentle and aren't interested in humans or our food at all.
Busy Bumblebees (Click on the ride side)© Earth.Life.You
Ants: I'm not quite sure if we have one or two different ant nests in the garden. But I see the most frequently by our cherry tree and the roses. We luckily never had ants in our apartment. As annoying as ants are in the apartment as beneficial they are in the garden. They dispose of dead animals and plant materials, eat eggs from other insects and minimize larvas, caterpillars, and snails.
One of many little ants © Earth.Life.You
Earthworm: I always wonder why we even have earthworms in our garden, since there is only about 20cm of earth, but I'm happy they're here. They aerate, mix and loosening the earth and improve the fertility, the structure and the water retention activity of the ground. Almost every time I'm digging in the earth, I find at least one worm.
Shiny little Earthworm © Earth.Life.You
Centipede: These are very creepy looking little animals, but they are very helpful. They eat aphids and other small insects, that can harm your plants. Some species of centipedes do like to eat vegetable plants as well, but I luckily never had problems with that. In my garden, I find them most, when I'm changing the plants in the flower pots.
Creepy little Centipede © Earth.Life.You
Woodlouse: As well as the centipede this small crustacean (no it's not an insect) is not very pleasant to look at, but they work kinda like a waste recycling system in your garden. They dispose of every dead material in the upper layer of the earth and are essential for the natural cycle of substances. When Stefan and I first moved in we had an extreme amount of these little guys. Back then, digging in the earth felt like a horror movie. As soon as you started digging a hundred (at least it felt this much) started crawling all around the whole. This was really creepy! Over time their numbers declined. I don't know if that is a good or a bad sign. I still see them in the garden, but now I don't get nightmares anymore...
Of course, there are probably living a hundred more species in my little garden, but I didn't have the chance of recognizing them yet. I really hope to see a lot more of them after the transformation of the garden.
Now I just have to wait for the plants, they should arrive in the next couple of days!! Can't wait!
I will keep you posted. In the meantime please stay home and healthy!