Gardens for Wildlife program

  • Gardens for Wildlife is a free program for Cardinia Shire residents, providing tips and information to help you to create a garden that attracts wildlife and improves its habitat.
  • The program is a partnership between Cardinia Shire Council and Cardinia Environment Coalition
  • We acknowledge the assistance of Gardens for Wildlife Victoria and founding program Knox Gardens for Wildlife

Gardens for Wildlife logo

This page has lots of resources to help you create your garden for wildlife, including fact sheets, plant guides and list of indigenous nurseries. 

Information on creating or improving your wildlife garden is available every Friday at the Cardinia Environment Coalition nursery during their opening times (9am-12pm) 

Suggestions of items you can take to the nursery to help with your discussions:

  • Photos of your property – this could just be of small sections you want to work on, or the whole backyard
  • Hand drawn sketch with basic dimensions – include any existing elements, such as trees you want to keep, where the trampoline lives etc…
  • Screen capture of google map with aerial photography of your property
  • Property plan that includes the property boundaries – these are ideal if you have just built and moved into a new property, with no existing garden

To help you create your wildlife garden, Council aims to run workshops, webinars and other information sessions, throughout the year. These are advertised in our environmental e-newsletter (Down to earth), via social media and on the what’s on Cardinia website

Some suggestions for a wildlife friendly garden:

  1. Tall native tree
  2. Patch of mulch for beetles and worms
  3. Clump dense shrubs for small birds
  4. Nectar plants for honey eaters
  5. Frog friendly pond
  6. Warm sheltered corner for lizards
  7. Butterfly attracting plants
  8. Native insect and bee plants
  9. Cat safe bird bath
  10. Nest boxes

No matter how big or small your property is you can create a garden that will attract wildlife. You can start out small by installing a cat safe bird bath to provide water to birds, have fun constructing an insect hotel, plant butterfly attracting plants, or you can go all out with a professionally landscaped garden.

Check out our factsheets that provide information on all the elements of a wildlife friendly garden (listed above) including suggested indigenous plants to use. There are factsheets on how to design a garden in a contemporary, cottage, formal, or green lush style using indigenous plants.

View the fact sheets

Down to earth e-newsletter

Sign up to our Down to earth bi-monthly e-newsletter for tips and tricks to improve your wildlife garden, including upcoming events, plus all the other great environmental news from Council (waste, climate change, heritage, water etc).

Indigenous plant guide

Indigenous plants are those that grow naturally in the area and so need less water, less fertiliser and less maintenance.

Our indigenous plant guide will help you to select plants that will grow best where you live because they suit local rainfall and soil types and provide habitat for native animals.

For every square metre of irrigated lawn you replace with a mulched bed of indigenous plants you save 400 litres of water per year!

Local indigenous nurseries list

Indigenous plants are not commonly available at your local nursery or hardware store.

View local indigenous plant nurseries here – these are staffed by volunteers who can help you choose the best plants for your garden.

Saving the Southern Brown Bandicoot

If you live in Bayles, Bunyip, Cora Lynn, Garfield, Heath Hill, Iona, Lang Lang, Maryknoll, Monomeith, Koo Wee Rup, Tynong or Yannathan, find out how you can help save our endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot