Biodiversity in the backyard

By
March 31, 2022

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you will find in one area. It includes the flora, the fauna, and even the microorganisms found in that particular habitat. Everything is interconnected and interdependent. Biodiversity maintains the delicate balance in the ecosystem; it spins the intricate web of life and keeps it going.

Why is biodiversity important

Biodiversity is an extremely important aspect of our planet needed for it to thrive and survive. The essence of biodiversity is-- the interdependence of its components. Even the minutest of organisms have an important role to play in the ecosystem and are important for maintaining its delicate balance.

The bees and butterflies are dependent on flowering plants for their food; in turn, the plant is dependent on them for pollination. The bacteria in the roots of plants fix the nutrients in the soil which support the growth of bigger plants and trees that provides food and shelter to various animals, which again form part of the big and small food chains in the environment.

Good biodiversity maintains the checks and balances in nature. It helps control the population of pests in nature, it keeps the cycle of natural soil fertilization and nutrient replenishment running.

If any one of these components falls, it triggers a dominoes effect and leads to a bigger disruption in the natural world. Thus, it becomes imperative for us to preserve the biodiversity around us. 

Benefits and joy of living in a bio diversified environment

"Biophilia" a term coined by Edward O. Wilson means that human affiliations with other life are deeply rooted in our biology and necessary for our well-being.

Living in an environment that the creator intended us to be in infuses us with a sense of innate joy. It positively influences physical and mental health and well-being. Biodiversity gives resilience from microbes as they become a part of the human biome in the process of us growing up with them in our surroundings. Thus, it helps in controlling disease and epidemics.

Families which surround themselves with a natural environment where plants and animals live in symbiosis learn to nurture the soul in everything. This helps them to become better "givers" than "takers".

Children who have had an early positive exposure to a biodiverse environment are happy kids. Growing up amongst the bounty of nature with birds, bees and other big and small creatures helps them understand the concept of "coexistence" very well. They have a better understanding of their immediate environment and are also more empathetic. They have better resilience to diseases due to their early exposure to bio diversified environment and are seen to be more physically fit and have a greater level of self-confidence and lesser level of stress. 

A Biodiversity Garden in your backyard

Due to the selective plantation of species and the continuous effort of humans to modify their environment, biodiversity is getting lost to some extent in the urban setups. We can try to reverse this process slowly by taking baby steps in our backyards, gardens, and balconies.

Here are a few tips to transform your space into a biodiverse habitat.

  • Create a natural patch by planting a variety of vegetation including natural grass, flowers, shrubs, trees.
  • Create different types of habitats. Planting fruit and nut trees and nectar-producing flowers will attract birds, squirrels, bees, and butterflies. Place a piece of dead hollow wood in the corner of your garden to provide a home to small critters. Placing rocks, logs, and compost piles will also attract a variety of life in your garden.
  • Create a small pond in your backyard if possible. This will provide habitat to species of frogs, insects, and fish. This will also attract birds and other animals for drinking water.
  • Remove exotic plants and plant native species. Plants that are not native to an area may become invasive and threaten the survival of native species.
  • Use organic methods to grow plants. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are harmful to the soil, water and may poison insects, birds, and fish. If you don’t have a backyard or a garden and you live in an apartment, you can still have a small biodiverse nook of your own. You can follow the same above rules and plant native flowering plants and shrubs in planters, recycled containers, or other reused household items. You can choose plants that attract pollinating insects like butterflies and bees. You can also start vermicompost where you compost scraps using worms. These bins are easily available in the markets. Another way of living close to a biodiverse environment is by living in communities that have shared biodiverse forest acreage or agriculture space. This is a new concept that is taking home in the urban suburbs and provides an opportunity to the residents to give back to nature and get close and stay connected to the earth.

The creator gifted us with a forest and we have been busy making it into a garden. Let’s go back to the basics by bringing the jungle back into our gardens.

We are Studio Organo

We are a cross-functional and research-focused team of architects, engineers, and technical experts, who ideate, refine and detail eco habitat products, components, and solutions. Our core intent is to co-create and manifest apt rurban lifestyles across all eco-habitat components to celebrate the living for respective user groups.
If you’d like to know about our design explorations, please email us at studio@organo.co.in