Time for a wild garden!

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A wild garden convinces with natural aesthetics and at the same time has an ecological value. Anyone who transforms their green oasis into a wild garden is in fashion - because that is: "gardening, of course". There are many reasons for that. New studies on the decline of insect fauna and bird populations are proving what conservationists have warned for years: more than 75 percent of insect flies stocks have disappeared in the last 27 years. NABU and BirdLife Cyprus announce the decline of our songbirds and announce that 25 million songbirds are being hunted and killed in the Mediterranean alone. The bee mortality rate in Germany was again over 20 percent. The steady expansion of the list of introduced invasive plant and animal species is another piece of the puzzle in this sad development.

The frustration is high among many home gardeners. But they and each one of us can do a small part to make things better - by making your own garden more natural, sealing less area and planting insect-friendly plants. True to the saying, "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is now."

Design a wild garden

To rebuild a wild garden, you can either design an overall concept or gradually turn individual areas into wild flowerbeds - after all, a garden is never finished and constantly changing. Nevertheless, you should pay particular attention to a few things. A clear room layout, visual axes and eye-catching in the beds help you to integrate the alleged wild growth into a harmonious overall picture. A clear division of space does not mean that everything should be aligned at right angles to each other, but only that each area in the garden fulfills a function. If you want a seat in the wild garden, some vegetable beds and a fire pit, you do not have to do without it. It is important that you do not over-seal the seat, that you work the vegetable beds sustainably and close to nature, and that the fireplace is oriented so that plants and animals are not affected by the heat.


It should not go too wild in the wild garden either: If there are blackberries spread like this, you have to put them in their place in time

The peculiarity in the wild, near-natural garden is that the planting and the equipment is planned primarily according to the needs of the animal world: a woody edge for birds, a pile of stones or a wall for lizards and many beds for flying insects. Winter quarters for hedgehogs or lacewings will be added until autumn. For example, if you set up deadwood or cairns, they should be left to your own devices and not relocated. Remember from the beginning that the wild garden needs a certain amount of care. If you simply let the garden grow, nothing would end up being anything more than a scrub that is dominated by a few plant species, that is, the exact opposite of a species-rich, lush, thriving animal paradise. The wild garden will be easier to care for if you place so-called site-specific, hardy plants right from the start, and do not "pimp" them at a high cost with those who can not stand alone in the bed.

Rules of thumb for the wild garden

The wild garden is said to be a paradise for insects and birds. In other words, the ecological aspect is clearly in the foreground. To ensure that as many plant and animal species as possible find their habitat, certain rules and the right amount of care are required:

  1. No chemistry: Chemical fertilizers and pesticides must not be used. If necessary, use natural preparations such as horn shavings, compost and homemade nettle.
  2. Wild shrubs and wild herbs: Instead of high-bred, filled flowering garden varieties, you should decide on the plants for breeding varieties as little as possible or the same for wild species. However, this does not mean that a few alien species are not allowed to be part of it - some of them have a surprisingly high ecological value and are also well received by the local insect fauna as a pollen and nectar supplier.
  3. deadwood: Cutted branches and twigs as well as tree roots not only give the wild garden a more natural appearance, they are also ideal hiding places for small animals. Once the deadwood pile has been collected, lay it so that the inhabitants are not disturbed.
  4. composting: Compost your entire green waste in the garden and reuse it as fertilizer or soil conditioner directly on site.This circular economy relieves the waste disposal companies, provides the plants with nutrients and revives the soil life.

Horned mason bees

Here, two Horned mason bees are building their room at the Insect Hotel

  1. To hang fruit: In the autumn, leave berries and seeds on the plants and cut back your shrubs only in the spring. They adorn the wild garden in winter, create great eye-catchers and are an important food source for many birds.
  2. No naked earth: Make sure that the soil in your garden is overgrown like in nature - even for difficult locations there are suitable ground cover that protect the soil with their green leaves and provide a habitat for many small animals.
  3. Meadow instead of lawn: A well-tended green lawn is not the best choice from an ecological point of view. If you can do without such a hard-wearing floor space in the garden, you should instead plant a species-rich flower meadow. It is also much easier to clean with proper soil preparation.
  4. nesting boxes: Many birds, mammals, and insects quickly settle in your garden when they find suitable nesting and wintering sites. Therefore, install nesting boxes, insect hotels, earworm quarters, hedgehog houses and other animal shelters in suitable places.

A wild corner for the home garden

The hum of insects, the chirping of grasshoppers and the chirping of birds make nature audible to us. If you have not noticed these noises in the sunny months, you can bring them back to the garden with the wild corner. Just one to two square meters of space are enough. Small wild corners fit wonderfully in all home gardens, front gardens and allotments. Even on a balcony or a roof terrace they can be realized. It is advisable to plant only shrubs and herbs in the wild corner and to avoid woody plants. For example, the wild corner can be converted back into a meadow during a move, and landlords can be more easily inspired by such a project.

Smooth-leaved aster (Aster novi-belgii)

Smooth-leaf asters (Aster novi-belgii) are real insect magnets

It does not always have to be nettle and thistle that are planted in a wild garden. Who would like to do without, has enough Ausweichmƶglichkeiten. There is a wide range of plants that are also favorites of butterflies and other flying insects. Sage (Salvia officinalis), mint (Mentha), melissa (Melissa) and real lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) provide a wonderful fragrance and enchant us with their white or blue flowers in the bed. The herbs can be used to flavor food or as dried leaves in tea. If the mint is not cut in autumn, its upright growth continues to adorn the bed. Fetthenne (Sedum), borage (Borago officinalis), hawkweed (Hieracium) and mullein (Verbascum) are also very suitable. Choose a sunny spot for your wild corner, and be sure to flower or fruit all year round.
Hobby gardeners with medium to large gardens can create habitats for birds, lizards, insects and other small animals in the middle of populated areas. You do not have to turn your entire green oasis into a wild garden. Wild-romantic beds have a high ornamental value and also offer a true variety of perennials and shrubs. The more beds you can create in this style, the better for nature. Think about how much grass you need: it might make sense to scale it down when the kids grow up, and create beds of ecologically valuable plants on the area.

Valuable wild shrubs and wild shrubs

A property with large, old trees and dense shrubs is the ideal basis for a wild garden. Woodpeckers and squirrels also find a home here. In the undergrowth, many small insects feel comfortable. Even on a less forest-like site, a wild garden can be realized very well - however, it takes its time until the trees are so large that they reach their full ecological value. Suitable house trees are, for example, native Linden species such as the winter linden (Tilia cordata). But even a big apple tree does its job. If you have plenty of room, you can plant a stalk oak (Quercus robur) - it is the tree that provides the habitat for most domestic insects. Important: When planting large trees, make sure to set them at the necessary safety distance to neighboring properties and public roads.

Blackbird feeds on the red berries of the hawthorn

Climbing rose entwines a nesting box

The blackbird feeds on the red berries of the hawthorn in autumn (Crataegus, left). An unfilled climbing rose is a nice eye-catcher in large gardens. Here she climbs up an old wall and frames a nesting box (right)

Native shrubs such as the hawthorn (Crataegus) or the black elder (Sambucus nigra) produce fruits in autumn, which are eaten by many birds. In addition, these shrubs are often accepted as nesting sites.Also popular are berry bushes such as redcurrants (Ribes rubrum). Wild roses such as the dog rose (Rosa canina) or the apple rose (Rosa rugosa) are also an asset to the wild garden and have beautiful flowers in early summer. Domestic perennials such as Red Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Garden Mallow (Malva sylvestris) and Verbena officinalis (Verbena officinalis) are often flown by insects such as bumblebees and butterflies. Always grab unfilled varieties - they provide more pollen because their stamens have not been turned into petals.

Video Board: The Wild Garden.

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