An information board directly on the goethestrabe attracts visitors to the garden behind the office for food, agriculture and forestry in coburg. If you want to know how to turn your garden into a small natural paradise, you should follow the path that leads you from one station to the next – without registration, simply during opening hours.
Wildlife habitat consultant karl gommel usually helps farmers or hunters in the coburg/lichtenfels area who want to prepare field and meadow plots to meet biodiversity requirements. Now, together with faruk varol, the office’s house technician, he has turned the garden into an example for all those who want to do something for nature.
All this was done within the framework of the program "blooming offices", he says, about which bavaria’s minister of agriculture michaela kaniber says: "with this campaign, we want to show visitors to our offices how you can make a valuable contribution to species diversity and insect protection even in a limited space."
It is much easier for everyone to do something for nature than many might think. Of course, not everyone can implement everything that is shown in the garden. But he may be able to choose something among reading stone pile, dead wood dump, insect hotel, flower flat or nest box.
As simple as it is, there are a few things to keep in mind for all these offerings to nature if they are not to miss their mark. Karl gommel starts with the bluhflache. "Many people won’t like it at this time of year", FEMALE. Because what was sown in the spring, then emerged and alternately provided for bloom splendor, that is now withered and withered and only here and there a small bleed still shows up. But karl gommel directs his gaze to the ground beneath the wilted stalks: "here you can see that quite a bit is already coming up again", he says.
Finding the right mix
The flowering areas in the amtsgarten are different. They show three different seed mixtures. "Not every plant is suitable for every location", explains karl gommel. Especially in the urban environment, the humus-rich soil is often not available as it is on agricultural land. "A mixture of dry-loving, robust plants is more suitable", he says.
Farmers can apply for funding through the cultural landscape program (kulap) if they plant flowerbeds. The flats then remain untouched for either a year or five years. "Five year old areas are naturally more valuable for nature", emphasizes karl gommel. For the right mixture there is then also advice. All mixtures are stocked with plants of different flowering times. So insects always have something at their disposal. Along with the insects come the birds, which need the animal protein of the hummers, especially for the rearing of their young. The patches provide year-round cover and breeding habitat for many birds and small mammals or insects.
If you don’t want to create a flower patch with a ready-made mixture in your private garden, you can make a difference just by doing nothing. "Just don’t mow and leave a piece of meadow untouched until spring", advice karl gommel. "This also saves labor in mowing", adds faruk varol, who admits that he also had to get used to this form of gardening first.
Especially now in autumn, when a lot of foliage accumulates in the garden, it would be nice if not everything is immediately driven to the composting plant. Leaf piles have their place in a natural garden and can be a help for animals to overwinter.
Life in hiding
Deadwood provides habitat for a wide range of species. If the owner of the garden does not see anything, it is because it is mainly a matter of protection and security in a hiding place. So, don’t keep turning the stems to see if someone has moved in! The logs should, by the way, come from different species of trees and should not be too dark but really thick.
Simply a heap
Reading stone piles, like dry stone walls, provide space for all kinds of small inhabitants. The pile does not have to be as rough as the one in the garden of the office. But it should not be too small either. And the stones for it may not come from read stone heaps, which are to be found in the meadow at ackern. They are supposed to stay exactly there.
An insect hotel, which karl gommel prefers to call a bee nesting aid, can be bought ready-made at the hardware store. "But it’s much easier to build it yourself", says faruk varol. It would be best, if the grandfather builds it with the grandchildren. "There are a few things to keep in mind, so that there is no "de-swapping" later on when no one moves in, explains karl gommel.
Already is an alignment of the hotel front in the direction of the southeast. With a roof projection, which gives shade, the front can also point to the south or southwest. The equipment is best made with natural materials. Reeds or bamboo stalks in perforated bricks, installed horizontally, are suitable, for example.
Blocks of hardwood such as beech or oak are drilled with holes two to ten millimeters in diameter, which are drilled about five to ten centimeters deep. Depending on the diameter, different species will move in. However, it is important to always drill into the longwood. Cracks quickly form in the front of the blocks, where wet and parasites can penetrate and endanger the bees’ brood.
Maybe the pile of stones can be placed right next to the hotel on one side. On the other side, a bundle of pithy thorny canes (hedge rose, raspberry, blackberry) could be erected. Unlike the actual insect hotel, these twigs should be loosely tied and placed in an upright position, and should receive as much sunlight as possible.
It is important to install a wire mesh in front of the front of the bee nesting aid. Otherwise, the hotel will quickly become a dining room for birds that eat insects. It is not meant for that.