Photo: Mary Trigger

You can create a wonderland for birds, butterflies and other beasties by planting your very own habitat garden.

Our gardens can really add to the mix of places available for animals to rest, feed, play and live. They are often less dry than the rest of the landscape and can contain features that complement or add to habitat in local bushland, such as extra shade, water points, nesting and roosting points.
Habitat gardens can:

  • Attract small birds with compact and prickly shrubs as well as perching points near a water bath.
  • Attract honeyeaters and insects with flowering plants.
  • Attract butterflies with wildflowers, grasses and sedges.

Having wildlife in your garden will also give you an opportunity to study nature and seasonal changes without having to leave the comfort of your own home!


  • Visit your local native plant nursery for advice on selecting indigenous plants that suit your garden.
  • Plan a variety of different spaces if you have the room. For example, allow for open and grassy areas, shrubby areas and ideally some trees.
  • Grab a free copy of Indigenous Plants of Bendigo from the City of Greater Bendigo and Smart Gardens for a Dry Climate from Coliban Water for design ideas and plant identification.  Both booklets are also available online.
  • Place logs, rocks and spiky native bushes around your garden to shelter small animals from harsh weather and predators. 
  • If you have a damp patch consider building a frog pond. 
  • Consider halving your lawn with local native plants. They require much less water than traditional garden plants, so can save you money and even help you save water during dry times.
  • Remove barriers to wildlife such as solid fences. Lizards, frogs and some mammals will be able to move more easily beneath fences that have gaps. 
  • Use plants that flower or produce seeds at different times for birds and butterflies. Different species of local wattles flower from winter to summer.
  • Once your garden is complete get others involved and see if you can create habitat links throughout your neighbourhood!

More information is available from a variety of sources. Contact details can be found on our Resources page >>