Tips from a biologist – How to turn your garden into a natural focus! – local news

blooms. He is buzzing. The gardens and balconies offer the splendor of colorful flowers.

And a garden can be more than just a collection of beautiful plants. It also provides a habitat for a variety of exciting animals. Be it a bee, moth, hedgehog or robin: the animal population in our gardens is active at any time of the year.

BILD goes on a park safari with biologist Hannes Petrischak

The spider on the wall of the house, the sparrow on the grass, the butterfly in the weed bed, the wild bee on the self-made nesting – even seemingly ordinary animals often display remarkable behavior. And we can be there and live.

Plants stand out from a gray and black gravel front yardFoto: Carmen Jaspersen/dpa

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hostile to life: plants emerge from a front yard of gray and black pebblesPhoto: Carmen Jaspersen / D

Can I go on an animal safari in my backyard? How wild is Germany?

Hanis Petrchak: “A park safari is always possible. You just have to look closely. Our parks are very different. Unfortunately, they are often very hostile to life: short meadows, front yards full of gray pebbles, exotic trees and shrubs that are often worthless to the local fauna. But In general, gardens are much richer in structure and species than farmland, which is often monotonous and over-fertilized.”

A bee flies to a flowerFoto: picture alliance / Zoonar

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A bee flies to a flowerPhoto: Photo Alliance/Zunar

What are the things that attract attention in the garden?

Petri Shake: “The black and blue carpenter bee is really striking. Our largest domestic wild bee, up to about 2.5 cm long, has spread across the country from the warmer regions of southern Germany in just a few decades and loves to fly on flowers in front gardens and hunt for dead hardwood to build its nest.

A semi-natural park in BerlinFoto: Jens Kalaene/ZB

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Natural park in BerlinPhoto: Jens Kalaene/ZB

The swallowtail is a highlight when sucking nectar on brightly colored flowers. The “laughter” of a strange, brightly colored green woodpecker is unmistakably heard through the tree-lined garden landscape. The “ground woodpecker” pierces the grass with its powerful beak and thus captures ants in their subterranean nests.

Sometimes you are lucky enough to see fireflies in the garden on warm midsummer nights. And on such nights, you can often hear the hedgehogs roaring through the bushes, striking their lips.”

Green woodpecker drinks waterFoto: picture alliance

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Green woodpecker drinks water Photo: Photo Alliance

For a natural garden: What should I think of? What are your five tips?

Petri Shake: “Don’t shut everything down – many wild bees nest in open sandy soil, but lions and many other insects depend on it as well.

A natural garden can provide a home for many animalsFoto: Jens Kalaene/ZB

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A natural garden can provide a home for many animalsPhoto: Jens Kalaene/ZB

Do not mow the lawn often and do not fertilize it – soon it will become a flowering meadow that attracts bees and butterflies.

Avoid toxins as much as possible. There are natural pest control tools that can be encouraged instead, such as ladybirds, lacewings, earlobes, tiger slugs — and of course, birds and bats.

Make sure there are plenty of structures: water points, dry stone walls, dead wood piles, compost piles, and wild nooks are small biotopes.

Plant or sow shrubs, perennials, and native herbs as diverse as possible—from spring to fall they provide flowers with pollen and nectar for insects and then berries and seeds for birds.”

A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) sitting in a park in Steglitz-ZehlendorfFoto: picture alliance / Wolfram Steinberg

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A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) sitting in a park in Steglitz-Zehlendorf Photo: Photo Alliance / Wolfram Steinberg

What does a natural garden really need? Always a garden? Is the balcony enough? Not everyone has a garden…

Petri Shake: “You can also do a lot for the animals on the porch: grow herbs in porch boxes and let them thrive, and hang nesting tools out of wooden holes and bamboo tubes for wild bees—and maybe even black-eyed asters, blackbirds, or home martins will find a nesting place here.”

In his new book “Gartensafari. On a local nature trail ”(published by Oekom Verlag), how exciting nature is at your doorstep.

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