Insect Hotels and Indigenous Plant Snacks


The way to attract wildlife to your garden is to provide comfortable insect homes and delicious meals.

Insect hotels are fun and easy to make – simply pile up some logs and leave them to rot slowly. They make the perfect hotel for all sorts of creatures (some of which, of course, become ‘snacks’ for creatures that are further up the food chain). Rocks provide havens for lizards, which in turn attract birds, small mammals and even raptors. Thick mulch under shrubs teems with microscopic life – stop clearing it up and before you know it your garden will have become a haven for a variety of colourful and interesting wildlife.

Providing the right food goes a long way to attracting birds and bats – Black headed Orioles love Aloes, sunbirds love the nectar of Leonotis, Kniphofia, Watsonia and Crocosmia, and many bird species enjoy Burchellia Bubalina and Halleria Lucida. Cuckoos feed on the caterpillars of the pretty Acrea Horta butterflies to which Kiggelaria Africana is host, while fruit bats and a number of birds enjoy the colourful fruit of this tree. Wild grasses provide seeds and nesting material for many different birds and animals.

The Gardener