Ecological gardens are defined as gardens that integrate themselves into natural local conditions. These gardens are designed and laid out so that they comply with the local ecological conditions. They integrate into the local animal-plant interactions, soil conditions, climate, topography and nutrient cycles.
Ecological gardens have many advantages over conventional gardens. Firstly, they conserve local biodiversity by providing a habitat for local indigenous plant and animal health. Secondly, gardens are managed with organic techniques. Thirdly, they are dynamic but resilient because they are resistant to seasonal and soil related changes. Finally, these gardens recycle their own nutrients, water and energy because of the inter-active community of plants and animals.
To keep damaging pests at bay you can plant Artemisia afra and Tulbaghia violacea. The strong smell of Artemisia afra acts as a natural insect and animal repellent.It has been known to repel mosquitos, flies and worms and keep dogs out when planted as a border. Also makes excellent mulch as it encourages proliferation of beneficial soil biota. The pungent smell of Tulbaghia violacea repels various insects, snakes and moles, while still attracting pollinators.
Furthermore, we have numerous plants that attract various animals. These include plants that attract birds looking for nectar, seeds and insects and plants that attract butterflies. Plants such as Erica and Tecoma species attract nectar feeding birds, Grasses attract seed feeding birds and plants that attract butterflies include Plumbago and Salvia species. The plant species that you plant will however have to be chosen so that it suits the ecology of your garden location.