Create a lizard friendly garden

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Has your school got a neglected patch of playground that would benefit from a make-over? Want to make your own garden or backyard more wildlife friendly? Maybe you’re looking for a weekend activity that adults and children can enjoy together. Why not make a lizard garden. It’s fun, it’s easy and we can show you how!

How to create a lizard friendly garden, illustration showing two lizards describing what a lizard garden needs including planting suggestions and size

Making a garden for mokomoko is a great way for kids to engage and connect with our native species as they learn about creating a lizard-friendly habitat. Predator Free NZ Trust wanted to pull together the wealth of lizard garden knowledge that’s out there into a succinct instruction page to inspire kids, schools and families – so we got together with some other conservation-minded, lizard-friendly colleagues.

Project Crimson shared their lizard garden expertise with suggestions for some of the twiggy groundcovers and native grasses that will make local mokomoko feel safe and right at home. Les Moran at DOC also added his support and expertise. Then artist Phoebe Morris put all the information together into a colourful, easy-to-follow guide.

The guide shows what lizards like and how to assemble your lizard-friendly patch of sunny basking spots and safe hiding places. Check it out and see what you think.

Now it’s over to you to add your own personal style. So what are you waiting for? Start assembling some rocks, logs, branches, old flowerpots and twiggy, twisty native plants and create your own highly desirable reptile real-estate. Add in a little dish of water and leave the mokomoko to it. They might not move in tomorrow, but leave it be and hopefully skinks and geckos will discover your haven in their own good time.

What’s more – you don’t have to ‘garden’ in a lizard garden. Lizards like their spot to be a little wild. Just relax, sit back and let nature move in. Once they find your patch of mokomoko paradise, those skinks and geckos out there won’t ever want to leave.

Download the lizard garden (PDF, 2MB).