A clump of dense shrubs where birds can shelter
When Tom found a home in Queenscliff just over 25 years ago, the garden consisted of an Italian Buckthorn hedge, a cypress tree, and a large expanse of rampant Kikuyu grass. After much effort, he established a welcoming and tiered shrub garden that enhances the view towards Swan Bay.
Tom could see the further potential to develop a dense shelter belt for small birds that would link with the Moonah trees on the opposite side of the street. With approval from the Borough of Queenscliffe’s planning officer, Tom sourced indigenous plants including grasses such as Coast Spear-grass and Coast Tussock-grass, and shrubs such as Coast Pomaderris, Common Correa, White Correa and Coast Daisy-bush, to plant the area adjoining his front fence.
Over the years, Tom has added a diversity of local indigenous plants, including shrubs such as Coast Bitter-bush, Cushion Bush, Sticky Daisy-bush and, recently, Thyme Rice-flower and Coast Beard-heath.
The results have been amazing – a beautiful haven for birds and an enhanced natural streetscape.
‘We see a good variety of birds in the garden,’ Tom says, ‘including Magpies, Magpie-larks, Red Wattlebirds, New Holland Honeyeaters and swallows as well as thornbills, Superb Fairy-wrens, Galahs, Crested Pigeons, Spotted Turtledoves and, at times, a Blackbird.’
Tom’s favourite is the New Holland Honeyeater. ‘It is always a pleasure to watch it feeding on my correas and other bushes that are flowering, and occasionally drinking from the bird bath. Our garden is alive with garden skinks and the odd gecko too, and I am trying to encourage beneficial insects by installing an insect hotel.’
Tom maintains this area and the verge opposite, which he cleared of weed species such as Cotoneaster, Fennel and Polygala. He replanted it with local native species three years ago, mirroring the native vegetation along the bike path.