The Garden

lies diesen Post hier auf Deutsch

The Garden was groomed by my Grandmother for decades, which for her means that the grass and the hedge are regularly trimmed, the flowerbed is filled with cultured ornamental plants where every withered leaf is removed, every “weed” and “vermin” is annihilated and for this and for fertilization chemical substances are used gladly.

My goal is to introduce more biodiversity and a more natural eco-system in the garden. Therefore I bank on local species instead of non-indigenous species, wild species instead of cultured ones, more nectar sources and pollinators and the support for (locally) endangered species.

I start by listing all species I can find in the garden and learning about them. Then I will see which ones I want to nurture, which ones I might want to replace and which ones I want to introduce.

When I say species I mean family, genus, species or whatever – depending on how exactly I can identify living beings in the garden.


Table of contents:



Present Flora

Identified so far: 60

trees and bushes:

wild plants:

ornamental flowers:

climbing plants:

pond plants:

herbs and crops

spring flowers:



Present Fauna

identified so far: 47

in the air:

in the pond:

on the ground:

in the ground:



Some Species In Detail

Silver Birch

(Betula pendula)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe, Northern America, Asia

Flowering period:

April – May

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


Mexican Marigold

(Tagetes erecta)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Mexican marigold is native to Mexico, Guatemala and Peru's Ucayali region. In Central Europe they are neophytes and mostly used as ornamental plants. In our garden Mexican marigolds were planted by my grandmother and they are common, especially in pots.

Pros and Cons:

Plants of the genus tagetes are preferred by snails. In agriculture they are sometimes used to draw snails away from other plants, but I immagine large numbers in flower gardens lead to increased numbers of annoying snails like the Spansih slug.

Planned actions:


Common Ivy

(Hedera helix)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe

Outside of Europe common ivy is often considered invasive and is being combated.

It is common and not endangered.

In our garden there is not a lot of ivy.

flowering period:

September – October

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


True Lavender

(Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula vera)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Originally from the mediterranian coast in Austria it rarely occurrs in the wild.

Lavender likes dry, rocky slopes with soil poor in nutriants.

Natural enemies are Resseliella lavandulae, Arima marginata, Eulia polita, Eucaria elegans, Aphis spp, Hyalesthes obsoletus.

All lavender in our garden was planted. One bush is quite large and it's surely possible to multiply it through cutting.

flowering period:

In our garden the lavender was in full bloom from June 14th to Juli 11th 2019 and in that time there were multiple bees and other animals visiting at any sunny moment.

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


Western Honeybee

(Apis mellifera)

Natural habitat and threat level:

worldwide except for polar regions

According to Wikipedia there is no scientific evidence for the rumored worldwide bee death, on the other hand bee populations in Europe are reported as dropping since 1970 and dropping fast since 2007. Also it is undisputed that some bee species are endangered.

I couldn't find and Info about whether the Western Honeybee is endangered or protected in Vienna, but it is definitely nurtured.

In our garden in the summer there are a lot of honeybees looking for nectar. I recently found a hole in the wall where one bee entered probably for resting, but there is no bee hive living on our property and as far as I know also nowhere nearby.

Food:

Bees eat nectar and pollen of many different nectar plants. Especially strong nectar producers are listed below:

period:

Western Honeybees fly whenever there are nectar sources blooming and the temperatures fit. Ideal are temperatures between 22 and 25 °C. At temperatures under 10 or above 38 °C the bees are inactive.

Pros and cons:

Plannet actions:


Common Blue

(Polyommatus icarus)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Common blues are native to Europe, North-Africa and Asia.

Almost all lycaenidae species in Central Europe are threatened. Of those the common blue is the least threatened. In Vienna it is protected while the chequered blue, another species of the lycaenidae genus is protected with priority¹.

Many lycaenidae depend on certain ant species, some of which are also endangered.

In our garden the common blue was sighted only a handful of times in 2019 so far.

Food:

imagines:

caterpillars:

flight period:

end of April – September

Planned actions:


Small and Large White

(Pieris rapae, Pieris brassicae)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Pieridae are common almost all over the world except for the antartica. Most species are native to tropical Africa and Asia. In Vienna all butterflies are protected¹.

Small and large white are not only common in Europe, but also count as vermin. As pollinators they are not of significance.

A natural enemy and commonly used as pest control is the white butterfly parasite (Cotesia glomerata).

Small whites are the most common butterflies in our garden, closely before Hungarian gliders. In the immediate and wider surroundings the gap is much bigger and small whites for sure make up more than 50% of all butterflies.

Food:

The caterpillars prefer to eat vegetables and other crops.

flight period:

March- end of October

Planned actions:


Painted Lady

(Vanessa cardui, Cynthia cardui)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe, North-Africa, Asia, North-America and Australia.

In Vienna the painted lady, like all butterflies is protected¹, in our garden it is quite common.

Food:

imagines:

caterpillars (preferred):

Cirsium vulgare, Cirsium oleraceum, Carduus spec., Onopordum acanthium

caterpillars (also):

Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Vitaceae, Malvaceae, Brassicaceae and Boraginaceae.

flight period:

May – Juli

Planned actions:


Hungarian Glider

(Neptis rivularis)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Central Europe

In Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

June – July

Planned actions:


Marbled White

(Melanargia galathea)

Natural habitat and threat level:

South-, Central- and North-Europe and North-Asia.

In Central Europe marbled white is common, in other areas diminishing. In Vienna, like all butterflies it is protected¹ and it's quite common in our garden.

Food:

Imagines:

Centaurea, Scabiosa, Cirsium, Carduus

Caterpillars:

Brachypodium pinnatum, Bromus erectus, Poa pratensis, Agrostis capillaris, Dactylis glomerata, Molinia caerulea, Helictotrichon pubescens, Festuca, Brachypodium

flight period:

June to August

Planned action:


Scarce Swallowtail

(Iphiclides podalirius)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe and Asia

Scarce swallowtails disappeared in many regions in the last years and are sensitive bioindicators.

In Austria it is highly endangered, only in Lower Austria it is not protected, but in Vorarlberg it is extinct.

In Vienna the scarce swallowtail is protected with priority¹. In our garden so far only one specimen with one lightly bruised wing was seen in 2019. It hung around and sucked on the lavender for hours.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

flight period:

May – July

Planned actions:


Red Admiral

(Vanessa atalanta, Pyrameis atalanta)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Red admirals are migrant butterflies and can be found all over the world. In Vienna they are protected¹.

In our garden so far I only saw one red admiral in 2019. It was flying through the garden and didn't sit down, which is why there is no self-taken picture of it yet.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

flight period:

June – October

Planned actions:


Common Brimstone

(Gonepteryx rhamni)

CC-by-SA 4.0: Arieswings

Natural habitat and threat level:

Eurasia and Northwest Africa

According to Wikipedia the common brimstone is no candidate for the red list of endangered species, even if “alledgedly” it has become more rare.

In our garden and the wider surroundings it definitely has gotten a lot rarer. Some years ago (can't say how many exactly) it was the most common butterfly, together with or instead of other Pieridae species. In 2019 I have only seen one individual so far.

In Vienna, like every butterfly it is protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

March – late Autumn

Planned actions:


Speckled Wood

(Pararge aegeria)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Central Europe and Northern Africa

In Vienna, like every butterfly it is protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

caterpillars:

Flight period:

April – September

Panned actions:


European Peacock

(Aglais io, Inachis io, Nymphalis io)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Aurasia

In Vienna, like every butterfly the European peacock is protected¹.

In our garden so far it was only seen while flying through.

Food:

Imagines:

Raupen:

flight period:

June – October

Planned actions:


Small Heath

(Coenonympha pamphilus)

Natural habitat and threat level:

almost all of Europe, Asia, Northern Africa

In Vienna, like every butterfly it is protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

Februar – November

Planned actions:


Six-spot Burnet

(Zygaena filipendulae)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe

In Vienna almost all burnets are protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

Juli – August

Planned actions:


Jersey Tiger

(Callimorpha quadripunctaria)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Southern and Central Europe

In Vienna it is strictly protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

Juli – September

Planned actions:


Spanish Slug

(Arion vulgaris/lusitanicus)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Originally from Europe, now existing all over the world the Spanish slug is not endangered and not protected. In contrary it counts as vermin.

Natural enemies are hedgehogs, birds, reptiles, ground beetles, fireflies and centipedes.

In our garden the Spanish slug is common.

Food:

Spanish slugs prefer vegetables and other crops over wild plants.

Planned actions:


Roman Snail

(Helix pomatia)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Central-Europe

Roman snails are strictly protected internationally.

In our garden Roman snails are rather common.

food:

Roman snails feast on weak and withered plant parts and algae. They also need a lot of chalk to build strong shells.

Planned actions:



Not (yet) present Flora

We want more wild plants in the garden, especially threatened ones or those that are important for endangered animals – maily pollinators. Invasive non-indigenous species should be avoided, even if they have some positive effects



Not (yet) present Fauna

Endangerd domestic species, especially pollinators shoud get a better habitat in our garden. The introduction of vermin on the other hand should be prevented.

Butterflies and moths:



Some Species in Detail

Lacy Phacelia

(Phacelia tanacetifolia)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Originally from America the lacey phacelia exists in Europe as a non-indigenous plant. It is not considered invasive because it is not perennial.

flowering period:

June – October

Pros and Cons:

Planned action:


Meadowsweet

Filipendula ulmaria

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Frank Vincentz

Natural habitat and threat level:

Central and Northern Europe as well as Central and Northern Asia

Meadowsweet grows on wet, nutrient-rich, slightly sour, sandy or clay soil as well as on bog and in swamps. It likes sunlight or half-shadow

Flowering period:

June – Juli

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


Goat's Beard

(Aruncus dioicus)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Anneli Salo

Natural habitat and threat level:

Temperate region of the northern hemisphere

flowering period:

June – Juli

Pros and cons:

Planned actions:


Dame's Rocket

(Hesperis matronalis

CC-by 2.0: Jason Pratt aka FishSpeaker

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe, Central and Western Asia

Originally coming from mountain regions dame's rocket occurs in the wild in Central Europe for centuries.

Flowering period:

April – June

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


Summer Lilac

(Buddleja davidii)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 4.0: Mehlauge

Natural habitat and threat level:

Summer lilac comes from China and Tibet and is considered invasive in Central Europe.

Flowering period:

Juli – August

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


Hemp-Agrimony

(Eupatorium cannabinum)

Natural habitat and threat level:

All of Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa

Hemp-agrimony likes moist, sunny and nutrient-rich places and in our garden it is planted on exactly such a spot next to the pond.

Flowering period:

Juli – September

Pros and Cons:

Planned actions:


Chequered Blue

(Scolitantides orion)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Olaf Leillinger

Natural habitat and threat level:

The chequered blue is fragmentarily found in Europe and Aisa. In Austria it is extinct in some regions and considered a sensible bio-indicator. In Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

caterpillars:

flight period:

Middle of April – End of August

Planned actions:


Large Copper

(Lycaena dispar)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Rosenzweig

Natural habitat and threat level:

Patchy in Europe

The large copper is highly endangered and priority protected in Vienna¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

flight period:

June – July

Planned actions:


Large Tortoiseshell

(Nymphalis polychloros)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Algirdas

Natural habitat and threat level:

North Africa, Europe and Asia

In Southern Europe the large tortoiseshell is more common than in Central Europe and it is priority protected in Vienna¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

flight period:

June – August

Planned actions:


southern Festoon

(Zerynthia polyxena)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Jean-Laurent Hentz

Natural habitat and threat level:

Southern to Central Europe and southern Ural region

In Austria the southern festoon only occurs in some regions, in Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

March – May

Planned actions:


Lesser Purple Emperor

(Apatura ilia)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Heiko Blaeser

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe

In Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Females:

Males:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

May – August

Planned actions:


Dryad

(Minois dryas)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Siga

Natural habitat and threat level:

Eurasia

In Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

June – September

Planned actions:


Great Banded Grayling

(Brintesia circe)

CC-by-SA 4.0: Didier Descouens

Natural habitat and threat level:

Eurasia

In Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

June – Middle of September

Planned actions:


Giant Peacock Moth

(Saturnia pyri)

GFDL, CC-by-SA 3.0: Entomolo

Natural habitat and threat level:

South Europe and North Africa

It was first found in Vienna and it lives in Eastern Austria, but gets rarer. In Vienna it is priority protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

?

Planned actions:


Eyed Hawk Moth

(Smerinthus ocellata)

CC-by-SA 4.0: Didier Descouens

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe and Northafrika

In Vienna it is stricktly protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

Middle of May – Juli

Planned actions:


Cream-Spot Tiger

(Arctia villica)

CC-by-SA 3.0: Kurt Kulac

Natural habitat and threat level:

Northern Africa, Western and South Europe, Russia and Near East In Austria it appears in warm regions, in Germany it is threatened from extinction.

In Vienna it is strictly protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

June – Juli

Planned actions:


Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth

(Hemaris tityus)

CC-by-SA 3.0: 120

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe

In Vienna it is strictly protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

Middle of May – Middle of June

Planned actions:


Silver-washed Fritillary

(Argynnis paphia)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Europe, Northern Africa, Asia

It is widespread and common and therefore not threatened. In Vienna, like every butterfly it is protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

June – August

Planned actions:


Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

(Macroglossum stellatarum)

Natural habitat and threat level:

Northern Africa, Europe, Asia

The hummingbird hawk-moth is widespread and common and therefore not threatened. In Vienna it is not protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

June – September

Planned actions:


Small Skipper

(Thymelicus sylvestris)

Natural habitat:

almost all of Europe + Northern Africa

In Vienna, like every butterfly it is protected¹.

Food:

Imagines:

Caterpillars:

Flight period:

End of June – August

Planned actions:



Principles

In the garden we try to follow these principles

Vermin ≠ Vermin

Not every so called vermin has to be tackled. Some 'weed' is even helpful.

Species can be categorized in 4 groups depending on their benefits:

Nuisances shouldn't be eradicated, but only kept away from where they are unwanted

Steps to take against nuisances and vermin:


Protect Endangered Species

Species that are endangered and belong here should be protected. Non indigenous species are not to be protected, even if they might be endangered elsewhere. Exceptions can be made for species that came here a long time ago or that migrate here because of the climate crisis. Invasive nin-indigenous plants should be considered vermin and therefore removed.

Species can be categorized according to their threat level thusly:



Planned Actions

Here I'll list all actions derived from research about the species above: