How do you increase biodiversity in your own garden?
Text: Frank Landman
contributed by Francis van Schaik
Many people would like to contribute to improving biodiversity. They often don’t know what they can do themselves.
(Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal species on earth. The power of nature is determined by the quantity and diversity of these species.)
You can very well contribute to biodiversity yourself. For example, by creating a sustainable garden or balcony. Making your garden or balcony greener is not only good for biodiversity, but also for your health.
To make your garden more biodiverse, you don’t have to have green fingers at all. Start with more plants and try to alternate between species. The fewer tiles, the better. Fewer stones means less heat, more opportunity to collect rainwater and greenery has a positive effect on our mental health.
Do you have a lot of space? Then you can also think of a tree with fruits or berries. This is a good nesting, shelter and feeding place for birds and insects. Constructing a pond or wadi in your garden also provides more animals, such as hedgehogs that like to drink from it.
Don’t have a garden but do have a balcony? Go for flower boxes on your balcony. You can also hang a nesting box, for example. Or put up an insect hotel.
You can also opt for vertical gardening. Place a wire fence against the wall and place plants in it. In addition to flowers and plants, you can also start a herb garden: it will help the insects and you in the kitchen!
More flowers and plants are in themselves good for air quality. They also attract insects. Many Dutch insect species depend on ‘native’ plants: plants that traditionally occur in the Netherlands or have been cultivated here.
Do you have a flat roof or a shed with a flat roof? Then you can turn this into a green roof. A green roof collects water, provides food for insects and can have a cooling effect in the summer. First check whether your roof is suitable for this.
Check whether your garden is in the sun, half sun or shade and adjust your plants accordingly. Try to choose as many plants as possible that occur naturally in the Netherlands.
Do you have a lot of sun? Plant catnip, coneflower, sedum, lady’s mantle, autumn aster, perennial geranium, knotweed (Persicaria), rudbekia, sage.
Partial sun: Lady’s mantle, periwinkle, perennial geranium, lungwort, zenegreen, autumn aster, fat man’s herb, knotweed, coneflower, stonecrop, comfrey, golden strawberry.
Lots of shade: Ferns, comfrey, man’s ear, periwinkle, fat man’s herb, golden strawberry, sweet woodruff, Caucasian forget-me-not-you, foam flower, giant dead-nettle.
You also work on the large number of Sustainable Development Goals!
But above all, get started with your garden, there is so much possible!
Francis van Schaik
Francis van Schaik is a coach of young people and also a student of human relationships with nature, the world and Truth. She regularly contributes to our online magazine. Francis is the regular contributor of articles in this page.