Green.

The first of the ideas was to bring more green in our lives. We have a small, typical city garden, with a simple lawn. We had some flowers in it, a single hedge and that was about it.

This was the ideal and perhaps most logical place to start when wanting to bring more green, more nature in our lives.

Now, I’m no biologist or botanist, but there are a few simple notions that anyone can apply to the smallest patches of green they have nearby.

First, it’s all about biodiversity.  One of the first changes I made in our garden, was removing all exotic plants and replacing them by local varieties.

A simple, wooden house for wild bees and other insects.

A simple, wooden house for wild bees and other insects.

It’s logical if you think about it: these are the plants who are best equipped to attract local insects.
To aid them, I also added an insect hotel: a simple, wooden house, with natural biomaterial for insects to house in, lay their eggs, …

After all, insects and butterfles mean pollination. Insects also mean a steady source of food for birds and other animals.

With biodiversity, all is linked: remove or strengthen one link, and you influence all others.

Another great trick I learned was to leave the grass after I mowed the lawn. I spread out the freshly cut grass, creating a layer of biomaterial, which is ideal as nutrition for the soil, attracts insects, birds, …

Last but not least, I banned all chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

A rather surprising visitor in our garden.

A rather surprising visitor in our garden.

And it works!

We have alot more birdlife in our garden, it’s rush hour with bees and  bumblebees around the low apple and pear trees I planted and now and thhe garden gives back berries and fruit in return.

Last weekend, we were even surprised by the visit of a quail, a bird not commonly associated with small city gardens. It sat there between the (I admit) higher grass, happily grazing for insects and what not.

Another proof you don’t have to spend hours of gardening or be a botanist to get some biodiversity going around your house.

Next step will be installing a bat refuge, in the hope to have some soaring above our heads on warm summer evenings as well.

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