Tiny Pockets of Wilderness

Nicola Turner Behaviour Changer

We tend to spend a lot of energy trying to control nature. We spray and mow, we concrete and build… but sometimes when we step back and let nature do its thing, even in a small way, amazing things happen.

When we create some space for nature in our backyards, it invites life in, it can look beautiful and it feels really good. Whether we have a lifestyle block, an urban section or even a balcony, there are lots of simple ways we can create tiny pockets of wilderness that create a sanctuary for wildlife and help nature flourish.


  • Let it go: Have you ever thought about letting part of your garden go rogue? Maybe you don’t mow a patch of grass or let your veggie patch go to seed. I always let my summer vegetable garden go a bit wild. All sorts of self-seeding plants and flowers mix and mingle with my produce and the garden comes alive with bees, butterflies and insects. I also swear my harvests are healthier and more abundant as a result.
  • No mow: Maybe we switch out part of our lawn for a no mow alternative. There are a variety of native ground cover options that can cope with different climates, handle light foot traffic and thrive without frequent mowing. It’s a simple way to create a safe haven for biodiversity, it saves on mowing and can look quite stunning.
  • Pocket forests: Can you turn a corner of the section into a pocket forest by planting some native grasses, trees or shrubs? It can become a vibrant micro ecosystem and even a tiny space can create a wonderful oasis for native bird life, bugs and insects. There are also lots of options that will grow happily in pots if you don’t have the garden space, or maybe you could even look at installing a green roof on your house, shed or garage.
  • Living fences: What about a hedge? Hedges offer yet another sanctuary for biodiversity, look beautiful and can provide wonderful natural wind protection, shade and also help slow the flow of rainwater.



Creating space for nature to flourish in our own backyards supports our biodiversity, looks beautiful and has a magical way of connecting us with the natural world. It’s a combo-deal – it’s better for the planet and it’s also better for our own wellbeing.

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