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Gardens for Wildlife program

Gardens for Wildlife logo
  • Gardens for Wildlife is a free program for Cardinia Shire residents, showing you how to create a garden that attracts wildlife and improves its habitat.
  • The program is a partnership between Cardinia Shire Council, Landcare networks, ‘Friends’ groups and local volunteers.
  • We acknowledge the assistance of Gardens for Wildlife Victoria and founding program Knox Gardens for Wildlife
  • From February to March 2021, you're invited to take part in our free online Gardens for Wildlife workshops.

Learn how to create a wildlife-friendly garden at Cardinia Shire Council’s free online workshops and kick start your new garden with a free $20 voucher from Cardinia Environment Coalition Nursery upon completion of a workshop. The voucher will be redeemable after the nursery is open to the public.

Your garden for wildlife - garden design, preparation and maintenance 

Wednesday 24 February, 7.30pm-8.30pm 
Learn some native gardening basics and create a wildlife friendly garden. 
Bookings and more information: TryBooking website  

Beautiful birds – attracting small birds to your garden 

Tuesday 2 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm 
Invite birds into your backyard with a bird friendly garden. 
Bookings and more information: TryBooking website  

Beautiful butterflies and native bees – creating an insect-friendly garden 

Wednesday 10 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm 
Create gardens for native butterflies and bees. 
Bookings and more information: TryBooking website  

Lovely lizards – creating a lizard, skink and gecko friendly garden 

Tuesday 16 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm 
Ideas, tips, tricks, dos and don’ts when it comes to creating a lizard lounge in your garden. 
Bookings and more information: TryBooking website   

Furry friends – creating a native mammal friendly garden 

Wednesday 24 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm 
Attract more adorable furry animals like echidnas, wombats, micro-bats and gliders to your garden. 
Bookings and more information: TryBooking website   

Fabulous frogs - creating a frog pond 

Tuesday 30 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm 
Create a frog friendly garden including a frog pond and attract a chorus of frogs into your garden. 
Bookings and more information: TryBooking website   

All Cardinia Shire residents who watch a workshop can register for a $20 plant voucher from Cardinia Environment Coalition (CEC) Nursery at Deep Creek Reserve at the end of Cameron Way Pakenham. You must show your driver licence or rates notice as proof of residency. The voucher will be redeemable after the nursery is open to the public. 

For more information about the Gardens for Wildlife workshop, call us on 1300 787 624

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, registrations are currently closed.

After registering your interest, a volunteer garden guide will contact you to arrange your free garden visit. The garden guide will provide you advice on how to create your wildlife-friendly garden, including:

  • suggestions on what to plant in your garden
  • water saving tips
  • garden design ideas
  • weed control tips

The garden guide will provide you with:

  • a letterbox sticker – display this proudly to encourage your neighbours to join the program, so you can join together to create corridors of wildlife-friendly gardens!
  • a local plant guide
  • a weed control guide
  • weed dabber bottle

Your garden guide will then send you a follow up email with tips and suggestions for your garden.

Gardens for Wildlife logo

While you are waiting for your assessment, or if you are in a township that is not currently covered by our volunteers, check out our Gardens for wildlife factsheets.

Our factsheets provide information on how to create a frog pond, cat safe bird baths, butterfly attracting plants, weed control, plus much more. We also have factsheets on how to design a garden in a contemporary, cottage, formal, or green lush style using indigenous plants.

View the fact sheets

Do you have an interest and knowledge on wildlife gardening? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others? How about becoming a volunteer garden guide! Training and support is provided.

For more information contact the Environment and Heritage team on

Down to earth e-newsletter

When you register your interest you can choose to join the mailing list for our Down to earth bi-monthly e-newsletter. The e-newsletter provides local environmental news, plus tips and tricks to improve your wildlife garden.

Indigenous plant guide

Indigenous plants are ones 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 our list of indigenous plant nurseries – 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