One of the joys of taking a piece of barren land and planting out gardens and a food forest is attracting wildlife and beneficial garden animals.

Wild Bees - A Perpetual Pollination Population

Wild Bees – A Perpetual Pollination Population

One of the principles of permaculture is working with nature (use and value diversity) rather than against it. We are growing everything here without the use of pesticides or herbicides. The aim is to create a balance with nature that benefits all.

There are any ways to do this and we are employing many strategies as possible, then watching and learning what works for us in our particular environment. I believe the observations we make now and over a long period of time will be the key to the success of the gardens.

The Best Start in Life

It first starts for us by giving the trees and plants the best possible start in life. This is usually digging a nice big hole and ensuring that they have adequate drainage. The saplings are then planted in rich soil and compost; cow manure, chicken poop, elephant shit or even Dale the guinea pigs waste and soaked in with water from the pond or our grey water system.

The area surrounding the tree is then heavily mulched with whatever we have handy; coconut coir, grass clippings, weeds, bamboo leaves etc. The mulch retains the water below and keeps the ground cooler while also breaking down to feed the plants.

Wild Mushrooms

These localized micro-environments take on a life of their own with lots of beneficial insects that also help break down the organic matter and even allow mushrooms to grow.

If the trees are strong from the start and are given everything they need to grow they will be in good health and will naturally be able to fight of disease or infestations.

Now we have given our plants the best start in life we need to encourage them to grow big and strong.

Oriental Garden Lizard - benefical wildlife

Oriental Garden Lizard

Live Strong

Each and every plant has it’s own particular requirements when it comes to light, shade (wind and sun) and water. Hopefully we took these into consideration at the time of planting.

Companion planting also helps keep unwanted pests at bay and provide beneficial nutrients to the plants. The neem tree is a very good example of this as it fixes nitrogen in the ground and releases a natural odor insects dislike keeping them away.

So now the trees and plants are growing strong we need beneficial wildlife to pollinate them so we start to produce an abundance of fruit, nuts and vegetables.

Bird on a Wire - Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo - A Perpetual Pollination Population

Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo

Beneficial Garden Animals – A Perpetual Pollination Population

To attract the beneficial animals and insects we need to pollinate the plants we are about to embark on sowing lots of flower seeds. This should start to attract more pollinators like bees, butterflies, insects, bats and birds.

Dragonfly Yellow


I’ve noticed the melon and wax gourd plants always send out male flowers long before female flowers. I can assume this is nature’s way of attracting pollinators. So we are going to replicate this strategy in our food forest.

By the time our trees are starting to blossom we should have a stable eco-system in place with a perpetual pollination population.

Centipede - Insects of Thailand


We will also be introducing nesting boxes for birds, bats and a butterfly feeding station.

Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Obviously, you can’t have a wish list of beneficial garden animals, you get the good and the bad but if we can strike the right balance with nature, everything should even out and equilibrium shall be achieved.

Butterfly - beneficial garden animals

Perry and a Butterfly

For example, the benefit of butterflies is the joy of having them visiting the gardens and pollinating plants. The downside is their caterpillars eating the cabbages. To address this we just have to plant more cabbages than we need or provide other plants butterflies love to lay their eggs on in another part of the garden.

A Life Aquatic

Taxi in Small Pond - wildlife and beneficial garden animals

Taxi in the Lotus Pond

Other beneficial garden dwellers are the frog and toad. To encourage more to our gardens we made a small ornamental lotus pond near the house and another larger pond to provide the trees with water during the dry season. Both have been very successful in bringing in more wildlife including two Chinese Herons (that swiftly ate all our catfish).

By incorporating lots of food sources and natural habitats by design across the land, we aim to have any pest problems managed by nature. We will keep you posted how things progress.

Life Goes On

We will be updating this page periodically with wildlife I spot and capture in photos. So this page, like the garden will continue to evolve. Return often to see what natural wonder has been visiting us.

Stick Insect

Stick Insect

Praying Mantis - beneficial insects

Praying Mantis

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Watching the Wildlife – Beneficial Garden Animals





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