Create a sanctuary garden in the city for those in need – the birds and the bees!

With the changes to the environment and frequent reports that species of birds are dying out, not to mention the plight of the bees – it is easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But by making simple changes to your garden and plant selection, you can create a safe haven for native birds and bees. It may seem like a small thing to do, but an influx of colourful birds, and some precious blue-banded bees will speak for itself.

lomandra and westringia

native garden

Attracting native animals to your garden requires some care and careful plant selection. You may want to go as far as introducing an animal species to your garden such as native stingless bees. They can be purchased and homed in your garden. The honey may be small in amount (less than a kilo per year), but it is big on deliciousness! And these bees are super-good at what bees do best – pollinate.

In order to create a haven for native birds, you need both big and small plants. Smaller birds like an ‘understory’ of bushes for protection and for nesting, as well as taller trees and large bushes. Water is another bird attractor. Elevated bird baths are more attractive to birds as it is easier to fly away if danger comes near (cats without bells – we are watching you!). Remember, birds are also great pollinators, so trees, shrubs and bushes that flower will be attractive to bees and birds.

Dwarf gum tree

Corymbia summer beauty

Great understory plants

Grevillea is one of the best bird plants there are. They are dense, prickly and they create safe, hidden caves for small birds. Protecting them from larger birds and other predators. There are so many varieties of grevillea available that you can quite easily select a range that will flower all year around, keeping those bees busy as well. Red and yellow flowers attract the most native wildlife.

Callistemons are also fantastically attractive. A wide variety of flower colour and size are available so it is easy to find something that will blend in with your existing landscaping.

garden, native garden, callistemon, bottle brush

Red flowers of bottle brush tree (Callistemon)

Canopy trees

Paperbark trees, larger bottlebrushes, tea trees and the ever popular lilly pilly. They all provide bird friendly environments as well as providing shade, and screening.

Other trees include lemon myrtle (use the leaves in tea) and any variety of gum tree. But make sure they won’t grow so large they become a problem for views and power-lines.

A garden teaming with life – both flora and fauna. A healthy garden that will continue to give all the benefits of a haven for animals and people alike.


For help planning a garden for a specific purpose, Stylish Gardens provide an expert and consultative service in the Inner West of Sydney. Contact us here