Garden Design – A seedling of an idea

August 2, 2021

Garden Design – with a focus on creating wildlife habitats and increasing biodiversity. Sounds great, right?

Well, that’s my latest scheme. Grand plan. Light bulb moment. Big idea.

I have the kind of personality where I often find myself jumping from one thing to the next and not really finishing anything – but with this one, I’m hesitant because I don’t want to waste it or fuck it up or fall out of love with it.

Lately, I’ve come to realise that I really enjoy creating habitats for wildlife and even more than that, I get mega excited when I see wildlife actually using said habitats. Take my pond for example.

I have a pond at the allotment that I built in March. It’s now the start of August which makes it not quite 5 months old – but in that 5 months, this pond has absolutely flourished and I am always both astonished and excited by the amount of wildlife that has made its way into the pond and is happy and thriving.
It’s beautiful to see.

A small wildlife pond in its construction stage. The edges are being covered with turf to protect the liner and a small log pile house is being assembled at its edge.
Pond construction. Putting together the sloped edge and laying the turf borders

I made sure to build it with three levels, so there is a deep section, a step and then a sloping edge. Different creatures require different depths for a whole host of reasons from (egg-laying to hiding away from ice in winter) but also having a shallow and sloping edge means that anything that falls in can climb out and birds can bath in the edges too.
I’ve tried to make it accommodating by planting wildflowers (and leaving the weeds and grass) nearby for shelter and insects (food) and I’ve created log piles that have been covered with turf to make cool damp sheltered spots. A friend gave me some pond plants from her own pond and with that, she accidentally brought across some newt babies. These are the only things that have been added manually – however if you go down with a net and investigate, you’ll be able to find dragonfly nymphs, diving beetles, water snails, pond skaters, leeches and frogs and more. Each of these creatures has made their own way in and this makes my heart sing.

A collection of logs bundled together and hidden with turf to create a cool, damp environment
Little Log Lodgings – a log pile at the edge of my pond for and creatures to make a home in or hide in for safety

And so this is one of the reasons I’ve been considering this wildlife garden design idea. Everyone wants something different from a garden so it will possibly be quite a niche business model and with limited clientele, but as long as there are people like me who welcome all wildlife from the birds to the slugs, the frogs to the hedgehogs, then there will always be people looking to improve the biodiversity in their own back gardens.

I’ll need to study (which will be costly) and gain some (lots of) experience but it’s something I can see myself actually enjoying doing for years to come. Should I go for it?

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