A Practical Guide to Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

By: Anne Rinaudo

In her book, Habitat – A practical guide to creating a wildlife friendly Australian Garden AB Bishop shares a wealth of advice and information, including how to build places for all sorts of animals to congregate. There are even step by step guides to building an insect hotel and a bee apartment block.

A passion for plants and critters

AB Bishop is a horticulturist, conservationist, writer and habitat consultant. On Open House  she confessed to a lifelong affinity with plants and critters. She says while getting basics like the soil right the first trick to attracting animals is to provide water, what she calls ‘hydration stations’.

Her own home is in an environmental living zone in Victoria where native fauna and flora is protected. She has a strong passion for Australian plants and believes that gardens should be built as much for supporting wildlife as for our own enjoyment. AB works part-time at Kuranga Native Nursery, where she’s in her element surrounded by thousands of plants and like-minded peers.

Mixed border. Photo credit AB Bishop Image from Habitat

Encourage animals into your garden

In a world where suburban nature is declining and diversity is shrinking, Habitat is a practical guide for those of us who want to encourage insects, reptiles, frogs, birds and animals into our garden. Not only for our own enjoyment, but as a direct contribution to the health and sustainability of our local environment and wildlife.

AB Bishop shows how to design, plant and maintain fauna-friendly landscapes, stressing the importance of understanding how all aspects of the backyard ecosystem are interlinked in order to create a truly authentic and effective habitat.

Courtyard garden East Melbourne. Photo Credit: AB Bishop from her book Habitat

From compost tea to insect hotels

This information-packed resource includes a detailed plant directory; information on what plants (native and exotic) suit what creatures and why; and advice on how to factor in the shelter, nesting, food and water requirements of different types of wildlife. A practical projects chapter features step-by-step instructions for soil testing; making compost tea; building and planting a frog pond; and constructing nesting boxes, insect hotels and bee apartment blocks.

Insect Hotel from Habitat. Photo credit: AB Bishop

Knowledgeable author

AB’s credentials as a gardening author are impressive and extensive. She co-authored The Australian Native Garden with Angus Stewart, which won the 2016-17 Horticultural Media Association of Australia book award. She also assisted Angus with writing Creating an Australian Garden and was a researcher for ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program for five years. She is a regular freelance writer for The Age newspaper and Gardening Australia magazine, and is a regular guest presenter (and occasional host) on Melbourne’s 3CR Community Radio Gardening Program.

Book Cover and Images from ‘Habitat – A practical guide to creating a wildlife-friendly Australian Garden’ by AB Bishop, Murdoch Books Photo Credit: Bandicoot Busselton Augusta – Luke Foster.

Listen: AB Bishop in conversation with Stephen O’Doherty.

Article supplied with thanks to Open House.

About the Author: Anne is the producer of Open House – a weekly three-hour live talkback radio show exploring life, faith and hope from a Christian perspective.