Make your backyard wildlife friendly

Wallum Sedge Frog

Ever wondered how to attract wildlife to your backyard?
Whether you’re after birds, frogs, butterflies, bees or other backyard critters you can get all the tips at this year’s Queensland Garden Expo at the Nambour Showgrounds from July 6-8.
The Living Backyard feature was a new addition to the Expo last year and received a fantastic response from the over 30,000 visitors flocking to the event, so the feature will be even bigger this year supported by a number of speaker sessions and kids activities.
Michael Gilles, Nature Conservation Officer at the Sunshine Coast Council who co-ordinates the feature area said visitors can get tips on how to bring their garden to life and create their own living backyard from the experts who are passionate about preserving and enhancing the native flora and fauna within our community.

“There is nothing better than walking into a garden that’s alive with native fauna, whether it be beautiful butterflies, singing frogs, buzzing bees or curious possums,” said Michael.

“We’re aiming to be Australia’s most sustainable region and part of this is to encourage people to create natural habitats in their backyard by providing food, protection and nesting sites. This display will provide inspiration and answer lots of questions for those wondering where to start. It’s a great project and we encourage the whole family to get involved.”
Marion Beazley, Expo Event Manager said the display proved one of the most popular last year and this year’s expanded program will include interactive displays, daily lectures and how-to workshops, great visual displays and a range of exhibitors who have a wealth of knowledge about backyard nature conservation.
“There are a number of kids activities including Bug Education where kids can see an amazing display of mounted insects, spiders and scorpions from around the world and live Australian insects, some of which can be handled,” said Marion.
“There are talks on building nestboxes, creating a frog-friendly garden, backyard bushtucker and attracting native birds and bees giving visitors lots of simple ideas to bring their garden to life.”
The line-up of speakers and topics include Ray Seddon, local driving force behind preserving the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly and Graham White from Witjuti Grub Bushfood Nursery who will share which bushfood and native plants you can nurture and enjoy from your garden.
Geckoes Wildlife will be on hand to show kids local Sunshine Coast critters which can be found in backyards and Rob Raabe from Native Bee Rescue will be speaking about how you can safely have bees in your garden and the benefits they bring.
The Queensland Garden Expo is a three-day celebration of all things gardening, featuring the largest range of plants in one place, nearly 55 nurseries with over 40,000 plants on sale every day as well as a huge range of gardening products. Not only for the most ardent of gardeners, the Expo is a fun day out for the whole family.
For more information on what’s on at this year’s Queensland Garden Expo, please visit www.qldgardenexpo.com.au.

Five simple tips to bring wildlife to your garden

1. It doesn’t matter what type of garden you have, we can all contribute to the survival and wellbeing of our local wildlife.
2. Select a range of plants that will provide a variety of different food types throughout the year – pollen, seeds, fruit and leaves.
3. Provide a range of habitats by ensuring your plants grow at different heights.
4. Install some nesting boxes.
5. Build a frog pond.