Creating Your Very Own Safari Garden - A 4 Part Series
Part 1: 'What is a safari garden?'
Preparing for spring often means entering our garden for the first time since winter ravaged it. This year might prove to be the opportunity to do something different. Something a little more eco. We call it the Safari Garden.
This is the start of a 4 part series introducing the concept of a safari garden and showing you how to design and build your very own small, urban version. It’s all just a matter of scale. In LettsSafari’s Capability Brown gardens we have just completed a multi-year experiment with large herbivores roaming the gardens - in a small terraced garden a large herbivore would be a rabbit. In a pot it's an insect. We will help you understand what is appropriate for various sizes of garden - from a terraced garden up to a 10 acre space. Bringing a bit of ‘wild’ back into your life.
LettsSafari’s Exeter Capability Brown gardens are one of the worlds most advanced safari gardens adopting garden rewilding and wildlife gardening techniques amongst others. We have spent the last few years developing a series of mini-gardens within these large historic eco gardens overlooking the sea. Now we are ready to share some of our approaches, experiments and designs using on-site images and illustrations combined with a series of computer-generated designs you can try out in your small urban or suburban garden.
‘250 years ago Capability Brown introduced his designs for what is today Exeter’s Capability Brown gardens at Mamhead Park South. We thought it fitting to share our designs for current times - the Safari Garden.’
Garden rewilding is a transformative approach to gardening that encourages a return to nature, promoting biodiversity and creating habitats for wildlife right in our backyard. This sustainable practice involves minimising human intervention, allowing gardens to grow more naturally and become a sanctuary for birds, insects, mammals, and native plants.
At the heart of the LettsSafari garden is the use of mostly native plants that thrive in local conditions without the need for fertilisers or pesticides. Our zero watering techniques mean they truly thrive in your wild. These plants provide essential food and shelter for local wildlife, creating a vibrant ecosystem. Our approach also involves reducing lawn areas in favour of wildflower meadows or native grasslands, which offer a richer habitat for a variety of species. It is not a stretch of reality to turn your garden into a mini-wildlife reserve.
Incorporating elements like water features, log piles, wildlife biodomes and rock gardens can further enhance the garden's appeal to different wildlife, offering them places to drink, shelter, and breed. By letting some areas of the garden grow wild, homeowners can experience the natural processes and cycles of the ecosystem up close.
Safari gardens not only contribute to the conservation of biodiversity but also bring the beauty and tranquility of nature closer to home. It transforms gardens into a haven for both people and wildlife, fostering a deeper connection with the natural world. Creating spaces children can only dream about.
A number of key habitats, weaved together in a mosaic can bring your garden safari to life:
Native Plant Gardens: Lush, diverse plantings that support local wildlife.
Wildflower Meadows: Vibrant meadows replacing traditional lawns, buzzing with life.
Wild shrubs and small trees: shrubs and trees form the backbone of your garden and offer connected corridors for shelter and safe passage.
Natural Water Features: Ponds or birdbaths attract birds, insects, and amphibians.
Habitat Piles: Log and stone piles provide essential shelter for small creatures.
In Part 2, next week, we will outline some small safari garden designs for urban and suburban settings. Embracing safari gardens is a step towards creating a more sustainable and wildlife-friendly world, right in our own backyard. Safari means journey in Swahili. We hope you can journey with us - taking your garden to the wild side!
Gift LettsSafari membership today and help others design their very own safari garden.