The flora and fauna of the Mornington Peninsula is unique.

Gardens for Wildlife is a network of community groups and councils working together to care for the native plants and animals of our communities.

The free program aims to inspire residents to protect our flora and fauna by using indigenous plants in their gardens.

The program will commence in 2021 with community workshops and gardening tips.

We asked you to help pick a mascot for our Gardens for Wildlife program. The options were animals indigenous to the Peninsula, including the Blue-Banded Bee, New Holland Honeyeater, Superb Fairy-Wren, Common Grass Blue Butterfly and Ringed Xenica Butterfly.

The Blue-Banded Bee buzzed its way to the top spot in our recent poll.

The Blue-Banded Bee gets its name from the striking metallic turquoise bands running across its golden and white fluffy body.

This little creature is a big help in your veggie garden. It performs a particular type of pollination known as ‘buzz pollination’ or sonication where it grabs onto the flower and shakes its body rapidly. Certain plants will only release their pollen when ‘buzzed’ this way, including tomatoes.

A bonus of having this tiny fuzzball in your garden is they are solitary bees and don’t move around in intimidating swarms. Rather they live solitary lives in the crevices of mudbricks or sandstone rocks or little burrows in clay type soil. You can make or buy a bee hotel to make them feel extra welcome.

To attract the Blue-Banded Bee, you can plant Brachyscome, Flax lily, Hardenbergia, Hibbertia and native rosemary in your garden. Some herbs and vegetables they are known to frequent are lavender, borage, chilli, lemon balm, sage (Bog Officianalis), thyme and tomatoes. Learn more about the Blue-Banded Bee.

Are you a creative with a knack for illustrations residing on the Mornington Peninsula? We are looking for an artist to prepare an illustration of the Blue-Banded Bee, to be incorporated in our Gardens for Wildlife logo.

The successful artist will be awarded a fee of $1,500 upon completion of the project. Applications close 15 February 2021. Artwork must be completed by 22 March 2021.

Download the artist brief for more information.

Gardens for Wildlife Victoria

We acknowledge the assistance of Gardens for Wildlife Victoria and founding program Knox Gardens for Wildlife.