How to create a biodiverse garden?

Grow plants whose nectar or fruit is also suitable for mammals, birds, and insects

There is nature all around us. In both the wild bushland and near people – in city parks, waste lands, home gardens. In human-inhabited areas, which until recently were important habitats and sites for many species, there is now mostly low grass where many plant species cannot grow and where insects cannot find shelter and food. On the other hand, as a good example, the caretakers of many city parks have started to create wild areas with uncut grass in the parks and the home garden owners have made their garden more environmentally friendly.


A bird on a dandelion. By: Karl Adami
BIODIVERSITY. If you allow plants to grow in your garden, you will soon see how different species feel good. By: Karl Adami


A well-planned nature-friendly garden increases the value of the living environment and supports the larger ecosystem around it, which is necessary for the health of both humans and other species. In addition, for being environmentally friendly in the garden, you will be rewarded with a pleasant place to relax and a clean and fertile ground to grow whatever you like. At the same time, opportunities are being created that provide favourable growing conditions for plants, as well as food, shelter, and breeding grounds for insects, birds, mammals, and amphibians. [1]


Tips for creating a rich garden

  • Grow plants whose nectar or fruit are also suitable for mammals, birds, and insects. A hazel tree growing in the garden will attract squirrels, while a colourful flower bed beckons butterflies and bees. Insects and spiders will find habitation on fruit trees and berry bushes.
  • You can build nesting houses for birds and bats or an insect hotel.
  • Create a compost or twig pile in the garden. It will be a home for many invertebrates and insects, who, in turn, will feed birds, for example.
  • You can build a pond with flat shores, which provides good conditions for amphibians to reproduce. The water body also offers many species the opportunity to freshen up in the hot summer weather.
  • Give the lawn mower a break and leave part of the garden a little wild. Even a small uncut corner of a garden can be of great help to various insect and bird species who are not doing so well today.
  • In the garden, grow native species, and tried and tested cultivated crops. Learn to appreciate plants that have been historically called weeds, such as dandelions, that are packed with nectar and are important hallmarks of a complete garden. Keep an eye out to see from which part of the grass the meadow species emerge (for example, ox-eye daisy or a bellflower) and leave flowering patches on the lawn.
  • Plant a hedge in the garden – many bird species will love it. A dense deciduous hedge that reaches at least your chest attracts many songbirds, such as warblers, and a decent spruce hedge is a real bird magnet! [2]
  • Avoid using synthetic plant protection products. By using toxic substances, you will damage the entire garden life and yourself. Use environmentally friendly pest control products.
  • In autumn, let the fallen tree leaves be and rake them up only in the spring. This allows the seeds that have fallen to the ground with the leaves to germinate and the insects to winter under the leaves. In spring, birds will also have more food.
  • See if you can build a green roof on a shed or plant a climbing plant by the garden to clean the air and drown out street noise.
  • Avoid excessive lighting and glass surfaces that are dangerous to birds, as they can fly against them.

Although making changes to your usual gardening habits may seem difficult, you can start with small changes and move towards a more environmentally friendly way of life one step at a time. Naturally, you do not have to let the garden grow wild in its entirety, but after a little experimentation, it is always possible to create a flowering habitat buzzing with insects in some corner of the garden instead of plain grass. [3]


By acting in this way in the garden, you can also set a good example for your neighbours and explain to them the importance and benefits of a nature-friendly garden. In that way, you can together create a rich and refreshing garden where it is pleasant to relax, engage in recreational sports, and grow clean food, and where children can observe nature with excitement.



Last modified: 13.01.2022




[1] M.Uustal, P. Kuldna, Peterson K. Elurikas linn. Linnaelustiku käsiraamat. 2010. SEI

[2] Kuidas rajada linnusõbralik aed? Eesti Ornitoloogiaühing

[3] Hoolikalt niidetud murukõrb linnas aitab kaasa liikide kadumisele. Novaator