Book review | Habitat: a practical guide to creating a wildlife-friendly Australian garden | AB Bishop

As tracts of land continue to be cleared for urban development, it stands to reason that what people plant in their gardens is critically important for wildlife that is displaced from their homes.

‘Habitat’ is a practical guide for those who want to encourage wildlife into their garden: insects, reptiles, frogs, birds and other animals. Written by AB Bishop, a horticulturalist, landscape designer and writer, the beautiful book shows readers how to design, plant and maintain fauna-friendly landscapes with a focus on how all aspects of the backyard ecosystem are interlinked to create an authentic and effective habitat.

The book starts out with background to the rationale for habitat gardens and their role in protecting biodiversity before moving on to how backyards can function as an ecosystem, what sorts of plants to consider, how to lure pollinators, a plant directory for different parts of Australia, the critters you might encounter and what to do about undesirable visitors. As well as practical tips, the book also includes real-life case studies from people who’ve done the work.

What’s most useful is that the book does a thorough job of connecting the importance of biodiverse backyards with Australia’s disappearing biodiversity hotspots, really driving home the fact that the way we manage our landscape is critical to sustainability.

‘Habitat: a practical guide to creating a wildlife friendly Australian gardens’ is indeed a practical guide. It will appeal to anybody hoping to turn their backyard into a haven for wildlife – whether urban or rural, and it’s beautifully presented with a heap of stunning images capturing wildlife in gardens as well as landscapes that are under threat as a result of inappropriate land management.

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about nest boxes, compost tea, frog ponds, insect hotels, megabats and microbats, then you’ll love poring over this wonderful book, which is just as handy for people with big backyards as it is for passionate gardeners in apartments.

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‘Habitat: A practical guide to creating a wildlife-friendly Australian garden’ is out now through Murdoch Books.

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