Bee, Butterfly and Bird Garden
The Waite Arboretum not only hosts a 5-star Bee Hotel, but now it offers further accommodation: a BB & B! A new habitat garden that started with the idea of providing our native bees, butterflies, birds and other creatures that inhabit the Arboretum grounds with a good place that provides all-year-round food, plants, and shelter.
The main goal of this project is to enhance the biodiversity in the Waite Arboretum. The first habitat garden has been established as a model to learn from and based on the results, replicate it in another site within the Arboretum.
The first step of the project was to choose the site: a suitable area to grow a good number of plants that had sun and some shade and was close to a water source. Then, carefully determine the plant collection considering South Australian species that occur naturally in the Mt. Lofty area, that have similar soil conditions and rainfall and plants that attract bees, butterflies and birds.
The BB & B garden was then, established in the Mallee section of the Arboretum which provides a canopy layer for our visitors. For the planting we focused on the lower layers, so small shrubs, herbaceous grasses an groundcovers were selected.
The habitat garden covers 300m2 planted with 370 plants form 29 species spaced in a way that creates the effect of an organic corridor where visitors could move from one plant to another.
The area hasn't been mulched except for the outskirt of the garden-bed, as certain insects and especially some native bees and wasps rely on bare ground to dig their homes or just go foraging. The site has some shady pockets and receives a daily dose of leaves from the trees in the vicinity that allow little creatures to find shelter too.
With a small team of volunteers and university students, the BB & B is maintained free of weeds and the plants watered (until establishment).
This is a great project to imitate and provide home to the creatures that visit your garden! By offering the right selection of plants, as well as water and refuge you will be protecting our biodiversity in a very meaningful way.
Share this initiative with your family and friends so more green corridors around the city will be available for our birds, butterflies, bees, reptiles, frogs, possums, ants, beetles, etc.
Check our list of plants for some inspiration! BBB Plant List