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Ferntree Gully Garden

Gardens for Wildlife (G4W) logo

Mark Williams is a member of the Koolunga Friends Group and has been involved with the Gardens for Wildlife program since 2007.

“When I found out that Council offers advice and support to people wanting to create a more ecologically friendly garden, I became really interested. I asked more questions and found it’s not a competition and you don’t get in trouble if you have weeds (phew!). So, I joined, and have found it really useful and interesting ever since.

Council organises evenings that residents in ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ can get together and share their knowledge and experience, which I have found really helpful. I’ve found it a good conversation starter, as some neighbours are interested to know what the ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ plaque on my letterbox is for. I can then encourage them to consider wildlife and choose plants that are better suited for the local environment. Of course, I was very grateful for the free plants I received when joining!

I had a Black Swamp Wallaby that visited my garden every night for a week to munch on native grasses! Normally I have a range of skinks, native birds (including ducks, owls and Frogmouths), frogs, micro-bats (like tiny birds), a huge range of insects and butterflies; and of course possums, both Ringtails and Brushtails, that live in harmony, with their own nesting boxes.

I love the bush environment that has developed, and the range of wildlife this brings. There’s always something interesting going on in the garden. I have found the closer I get it back to natural bush, the easier and cheaper it is to manage and the more rewarding it becomes.

I encourage people to choose plants that are indigenous to the local area. Knox Council or residents in ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ can help you find places that sell these plants. They will be low maintenance and require little or no additional water, since this is the area they occur naturally in. Weeds can be really invasive, but stick at getting rid of them. Mulch is a great friend, but lay it on thick.”

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