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My Lizard Garden

Updated on January 15, 2015

How to Make a Lizard Garden

I never did set out to actually create a "lizard garden." I always wanted a bird friendly garden or maybe even attract butterflies. I created a lizard garden quite by accident. When I moved into my house 11 years ago, we had cats that were not very friendly to gardens. Little by little, I eliminated things and tweaked my backyard to deter cats. It wasn't until my grandson moved in with us for a while that I realized I had created a lizard paradise. My grandson Gavin just loved to see all the lizards scurrying about and even was bent on doing the impossible. Trying to catch one. He's 3 years old, and pronounces lizard like "wizard." At first I thought he was seeing "wizards"!

The picture to the left is a lizard hiding among my rose bushes.

All photos on this page are from my backyard

All photos on this lens were taken by me of wildlife in my backyard.

Lizards Playing

Caught 2 lizards "playing" in my backyard. The black lizards I see seem to be quite territorial.

Leapin' Lizards!

All the photos of lizards on this page were from my backyard. The one on the right is on a wooden footbridge built. I can see a lot of them from my sliding glass door, but when I go outside I can see and hear them all scurrying around. Some will stop and let me get a closer look.

Some of you might be thinking about snakes. Well, I have thought of that myself. I'm not really worried, as the snakes would find it harder to find my yard. They would need to go across roads and people's backyards. Lot's of dogs in the neighborhood. I'm sure it's possible!

Creating a Lizard Garden

As I said, I did not set out to create a lizard garden. It just was a result of how I transformed out backyard. I removed all the grass and made planters. I piled rocks, stones, pavers, and gravel more to repel cats. I even used some artificial boulders to fill in space and give it more size. I also enlarged my koi pond. Pretty soon, the backyard was completely devoid of grass, and full of hardscape.

Having rocks for lizards to hide probably first attracted them. Second, my larger boulders and dark tree we have gave them ample places to sun themselves. Early mornings the lizards are really out and about sunning themselves.

In the photo to the right, you can see a lizard sunning himself on a rock.

Stepping Stones

I put stepping stones throughout the garden. I spray painted them different colors to add some instant color to the backyard. Here a lizard is sunning himself on one of the blue ones. They are fascinating to just watch.

Thoughts on a lizard garden.

I assume every state has lizards. How you create one for your climate may be different than mine. I live in southwest Riverside County, California, which is essentially a desert. Many housing developments have gone in, encroaching on the wildlife habitat. Hence, my backyard obviously attracts desert type lizards native to this area.

Since my backyard has a desert feel to it, the lizards feel quite at home. Other parts of the country may need to design theirs to attract the local lizards. You need places to hide, places to sun, plants for shade, food, and water.

If lizards are not your thing, think about designing a garden to attract something you like.

The photo to the right shows a lizard in my backyard sunning himself on the fence.

Three Lizards

There are three lizards on this tree at the same time. Can you see them all?

Some lizards in our backyard.

I started taking one lizard, then he takes off to the left. Keep watching the video, as another lizard scuttles in on the right.


I suspect the one thing needed for a lizard friendly garden is sun exposure for most of the day. Lizards are cold blooded and need places to sun themselves. Providing flat, tall objects and places for them to sun should attract lizards. Also, they need cracks, plants, and crevices to hide in quickly from predators. This does not mean you need to turn your backyard into a desert.

The lizard at the right is sunning himself on a low-lying rock in my backyard.

It takes two to tango

Here's two of them just lounging side by side on a fake rock I have, along with the snail statue. They think they live in paradise.

Lizard on a rock

Lizard being lazy in the shade on a hot day.

Having loads of lizards playing in your backyard is better than owning pets. You don't have to feed or water them, or change their cage. They just take care of themselves.

Lizards mating

At first I did not know what they were doing. I thought they were fighting. I took the picture, then scared them off. I did some research. It seems the male likes to bite the head of the female. Who knew? I wish I had taken a video of it. it would have been pretty amazing.

Big lizard on a tree

This is one big lizard on my tree in the backyard. He seems to be a different species than the three lizards on the same tree above.

Two Lizards

Took this photo in the evening. There are two lizards in the picture. The brown one is actually about a foot or more long. Startled me at first. Looked like a snake! No, that is not a real skull, but a plastic replica.

Other wildlife in my garden.

The opossum to the right was found one morning. He would not move.

I've been woken up by racoons trying to fish for koi.

One day a heron tried to carry off one of my koi fish. The fish was too big, but that fish bears the scars today. I named that koi "Lucky."

My Lizard Garden

This is one part of my backyard which is now a lizard paradise.

Another View

Here's another part of my backyard lizard garden.

More from my backyard

As you can see, I don't have a normal backyard. It's all hardscape, just perfect for lizards.

My final photo

This is the last photo in the series here showing my backyard lizard paradise.

My Grandson Gavin

He has moved away, but I still get to visit him. Here he is playing in the water activity table we had in the back. I made him realize it was impossible to catch the lizards and we should just sit quietly and watch them for as long as we can. He sure loved this. I bought him some plastic lizards to play with. He liked putting them in the water.

My Koi Pond

I also filled in some of the backyard with a koi pond. It's a lot of work to upkeep, but I love the fish. Here is my grandson Gavin feeding them. We almost have them trained to be fed right out of the hand.

We have a section of gardening!

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Love the idea of a lizard garden! Thanks for sharing yours with us, and the tips, too. Seems like it would definitely be worth the effort to design one.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      6 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I love both lizards and koi! Your photos of your backyard oasis are beautiful. We used to have a koi pond when we lived in Southern California and I miss it. I enjoyed the green anoles and iguanas when we visited the US Virgin Islands. Fascinating creatures. Don't get those here in the Chicago area. Our yard is a haven for bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great idea. Your garden looks lovely and I really like the idea of having almost pets without the work.

    • DawnRae64 profile image


      7 years ago from Maryland, USA

      So cool! I enjoyed this lens very much. My son has lizards in his yard in Florida. And this is the first year I'm discovering that there are a large amount of skinks in this area. I'd love to have lizards in a garden.

    • Bajanchristian profile image

      Greg Carl 

      7 years ago

      Maybe you should start giving them names. That would be cool don't you think?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      how could you do that? you are really look like a doctor of lizard

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Your garden is beautiful! I really enjoyed your lizard pictures.

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 

      7 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I live in Florida and we have lots of lizards ! They are really fun to watch. Great lens !

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very cool...thanks for sharing the pics

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What an amazing treat to see inside your busy yard! Lizards are cool to watch and thanks for sharing the pics and videos!

    • profile image

      astevn816 lm 

      7 years ago

      This looks like a very relaxing place to kick back on a hot summer day with a glass of sweet tea. A very beautiful garden.

    • Lucildoll LM profile image

      Lucildoll LM 

      7 years ago

      You have have done a lovely job with your garden facilitating your lizards! the garden yes but the lizards, I am terrified by reptiles, physically I'd be out of there like lightening.

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 

      7 years ago

      Cool idea! You have a miniature nature preserve out your back door!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very cool, living in Florida I never thought of this and tiny lizards are everywhere! I feed the birds, squirrels, and a group of raccoons! I guess I'm adding a lizard garden to my yard!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Very interesting to read. Your yard is amazingly colorful. We unfortunately have clutter and the lizards sometimes get trapped in empty pots. My husband saves them. The little boys in the family think the dried lizards are curious. Do lizards eat black widows? I hope so because we have too many of those.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is an interesting lens :)

    • Lionrhod profile image


      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very neat! We have lizards like these too. I love watching them.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a nice garden! The picture of your grandson is precious.

    • stephenteacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephen Carr 

      7 years ago from Corona, CA

      @paulahite: Thank you so much!

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Sweet lens! It was featured on our Facebook page today!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Everywhere I've lived as I grew up had lizards. The most adorable ones were the tiny ones - inch long perfect creatures. We had dozens of them - we had a foldable sun umbrella we kept outside, and every time we opened it it rained lizards. I still live in a place with plenty of lizards, and now a huge wild tortoise and a really big chameleon found the backyard tree. Funny enough, our yard always had grass, of the wild variety found in the area. They liked to climb up the outdoor walls around the house to sunbathe, and managed to find a way into our shed to lay their eggs on the ceiling. To escape other creatures they just climbed higher up.

      Congrats on the purple star and LOTD, and all those great pictures!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      7 years ago from Texas USA

      what a great lens. i can't help thinking that koi food looks like cheerios. i think you've developed your back yard nicely and with respect to the natural environ. congrats on lotd.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome lens! Congratulations on the purple star! I remember watching the lizards when I was a kid. My brother loved to handle them and could catch them for us to watch. My Aunt had a lot of lizards in her yard and we loved to look at them there.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I live in south florida and we have all kinds of lizards down here-(they even get inside sometimes)-I love what you have done-it sure is beautiful and is a fantastic accomplishment.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hey! i want to confess that i really scared of lizard. but reading your post make me surprised ! anyway its cool to make lizard garden. have fun.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      So so cool. Love it

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      7 years ago from California

      This is so cool! Right now, we have about 3 salamanders living in the rock garden on the side of the house. I only see them on rainy evenings. I would love to have a backyard that attracted more lizards.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Is it meant to say wizards at the top? anyway cool post! :)

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      7 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Love this lense because we have a lot of lizards and I can relate. We live in North Central Texas and have many lizards and geckos in our yard year round, but more in the summer. We have quite a few rocks mixed in our landscape so perhaps that is why we have so many lizards. Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Enjoyed your lizards! I like them too, and have a family of skinks that return every year. They are rather large lizards that I love having around to eat all the mosquitoes, spiders and other bugs. I showed them off in my lens on Critters. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't have some snakes in among the rocks too.

    • delia-delia profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Love this lens and love lizards! I've not seen too many here were I live...but welcome them, or any other critters...we have a great deal of wildlife in our back yard...the other day at least 17 Turkey's and about a dozen deer.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      7 years ago

      What an interesting looking garden!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful creatures of God. Congratulations!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very cool lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The pic of the lizard sunning himself on the blue tile is my favorite photo. It's as if the lizard looked back at you say "Do you need something? If not could you please move." Very funny picture, lol. Great post!

    • Amanda Howdeshell profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      We have anole lizards in Florida. They are actually an invasive species to the idea. But then again, so are the iguanas that are becoming a problem in South Florida. I can't say I mind that much... one of the unsung benefits of lizard gardens is that the lizards eat unwanted bugs, especially roaches!

    • nicenet profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm not a lizard fan but your garden looks pretty cool!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Stopping back by to congratulate you on Lens of the Day. Now that it is warming up around here, I should be seeing my little lizards again.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      7 years ago from Fresno CA

      Congrats on Lens of the Day. I love this. Amazing garden with or without lizards, although they do make a fun added attraction. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      7 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I have not seen many lizards since living in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, where they lived in the house with me. They are really good at keeping flies and mosquitoes out! I now live in Canada and am not sure if any live this far North? Nova Scotia anyone? Well done on the LOTD!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      7 years ago

      This has easily become one of my favorite pages here at Squidoo. We have a lizard garden too but, until today, I did not realize it. I'm looking at it all a bit differently now. Unfortunately, our lizard garden also has snakes :( and the occasional gator...well, really, they stay in the creek behind our lizard garden and our lizard garden does have a sturdy iron fence but they're watching, in the words of Roz (Monsters, Inc.) always watching.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      7 years ago from Concord VA

      I live in VA and we also have an "accidental" lizard garden because of the rocks and gravel around our house. We love to watch them sun themselves and play. The tiny babies are so cute! Congratulations on LotD!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      7 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Fascinating! Congratulations on LotD! It must be a delight to watch them, knowing how much they enjoy your yard. Very interesting to see your photos and read more about them!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is such an interesting post a beautifully put together garden. Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great idea, thanks for sharing and congrats on being chosen LOTD :)

    • writerkath profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! Congratulations on LotD for this great lens! I remember liking and commenting on this about 2 years ago - I see these little fellas all the time in our winter quarters here in Florida, and I love watching them! It was wonderful revisiting! Enjoy your day! :)

    • BestOfGeorge profile image


      7 years ago

      Besides being a great garden, what a great story. I have just moved into a new property and you have given me lots to think about for my garden. I am sure my grandsons would love to play in a garden like this.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      7 years ago

      You've not only created a gorgeous lizardy backyard but, even more importantly, you've created a paradise for your grandson to learn about. How nice that he plays outside and loves to watch the animals. Congratulations on a very well earned lens of the day.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      7 years ago from Lakewood New York

      What a beatuiful garden you have created, it looks like a lot of work and thought went into it my grandson would love this. Congratulations on LOTD!!

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Everything looks wonderful, and those koi and lizards have a wonderful safe haven home!! I would love to have lizards around like that, but I live too far North. They just aren't around here. In my travels down South, I love to see all the little wild lizards! You've done a really nice job with your yard. :)

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Your backyard looks terrific and I love the pond! My son would adore the lizards and your grandson looks like he loves to check out all the lizards and fish :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Would love to have lizards in my backyard, but the neighbourhood cats have made sure it won't happen, unfortunately. I know we have geckos in the woodpile, though, and one day I found a big one in the compost bin. Love your garden.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      7 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Lovely garden and beautiful lizards. Congrats on the Purple Star. We do have lizards in The Netherlands but I don't think I've ever seen a lizard where I live.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I loved seeing the lizards play in your back yard. I was thinking that by removing predators from that turf you may have also given them this lizard friendly space. I can sure see how they enjoy the rocks and trees of your yard. It is so sweet to see nature interacting so wonderfully with our man made space. Love it!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      7 years ago

      I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed this tour of your garden and its lovevly lizards. What a magical playground for young Gavin!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      beautiful garden, really enjoyed this lens :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Southwestern Riverside County? Like in Corona? I'm in Corona, and see these guys in my yard all the time.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the "wizards" too =) They are not easy to photograph, though, they can move fast!

    • takkhisa profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome idea for the one who loves gardening! :)

    • profile image

      tfsherman lm 

      8 years ago

      We had some young boys from Ireland visit our home in Florida a few years ago. Their parents took them to Disneyworld and to see the sights, but what they really liked to do was catch lizards! They don't have lizards in Ireland, I suppose.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      We have a lot of this small ''dinosaurs'' at our area, especially now when spring is knocking on the our doors. A fantastic lens with some very beautiful photos I must say.

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 

      8 years ago

      What a nice "personal" lens. I'm in Canada, so no lizards to speak of here (they'd all be frozen!) but I do enjoy reading about others gardening efforts

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm in Georgia, and we have lizards. My kitty does a great lizard dance when she tries to catch them. We have a koi pond, and used to have trouble with critters stealing fish until I read a tip to put metal reflective balls..different sizes on the pond. They move constantly and that is offputting to critters! Haven't lost a fish since. They are pretty silver and add to the pond' s beauty.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      We have a few lizards who live amongst the rocks, yuccas, and agave plants at our house. They are fun to watch..

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      Vikk Simmons 

      8 years ago from Houston

      This is a great and very personal page that I enjoyed visiting quite a lot. I love how you expanded your idea. We have a pond and quite a few lizards here, too. Great job.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 

      8 years ago

      Very interesting lens. Lizard garden is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lizards are great in a garden because they eat bugs.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this idea of magnifying the enjoyment of your garden by enhancing it for lizards.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You are lucky to be able to find lizards in your garden. We don't get anywhere I live :(

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love lizards, but there are too many cats in my neighbourhood, so they are rarely seen. Nice lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lizards are so cute, but I live in Washington so there's no way to find them, but we do have lots of slugs

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      8 years ago from Kansas

      Lovely garden and lively too. We naturally have a lot of rock, so we do get lizards sunning here and there. Blessed.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you have a beautiful garden. We have a few lizards in our garden but they are only small ones. We have had a snake come in from spare block, and also a blue tongue goanna came to visit us.

      Love your koi pond, we had a problem with cats pinching ours. great lens

    • vetochemicals profile image


      9 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      We had lizards in our Florida home when we lived there, not along Lake Erie now though. One day I moved the flower pots on our patio and there were lots of little bugs exposed and soon after several lizards enjoyed a healthy lunch. They never bothered us and they liked our sunny spot there too. Great photos of your yard and the lizards - you've got lots of them!

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 

      9 years ago from Florida

      I love the little lizards that visit us. A couple of them let me pet them on the neck. I even had time to go in the house, get my camera and take many photos of me rubbing his neck. That made my day and his too.

    • April Wier profile image

      April Wier 

      9 years ago

      I have never heard of a lizard garden before. What a great idea!

    • vegetablegardenh profile image


      9 years ago

      So neat! I love lizards. You got quite the garden there, nice work!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      9 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Very lovely garden and article! :)

    • PennyHowe profile image


      9 years ago

      A wild topic for a lens. You carried it off beautifully. I love lizards. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Your backyard looks very inviting. Great pictures of your lizards!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      Erin Hardison 

      9 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Very fun idea! We've got lizards all over the place at our house in Florida. They're lots of fun to watch. Per your suggestion, we may get some more rocks for them to sun themselves on. Right now they like my daughter's swingset.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      9 years ago from London

      I love the little lizards...we don't get them here, but I get them in a garden in S. France I visit. I'm always thrilled and fascinated by them.

    • writerkath profile image


      9 years ago

      We've been renting a place in Florida for the winter, and there is a small patio in the back where we'll sit and have our morning tea. There are so many little lizards, and we are constantly entertained by them! Great lens! *Blessed* :) Kath

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love lizards! Sounds like you live in the perfect spot.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image


      9 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great lens. Who doesn't love a lizard! Your Koi are beautiful as well as your Grandson. We used to have large Koi in our pond until the heron came. :( Blessed!

    • Gabriel360 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens! Job well done.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great lens, itâs very well done, thanks for sharing. The photos are amazing!

    • Rangoon House profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Weeping wizards! Spring Blessings to you and Gavin.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      9 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      What a lovely garden, I really enjoyed the pictures especially.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice to see this lens featured on the homepage :) Congrats

    • intermarks profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow! There must be quite a lot of insect in your garden. Otherwise, there won't be so many lizard there. Nice sharing!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Awesome! I could really get into a lizard garden. Thanks for creating this lens!

    • Thrinsdream profile image


      9 years ago

      How I miss seeing lizards! Used to live in SE Asia and we called them chit chats, they lived in the house . . . well everywhere and this article brought back so many beautiful memories of home. Thank you. Fab lens, FANTASTIC garden, so colourful & love the koi. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

    • SadSquid profile image


      9 years ago

      That is so great, that you designed a wild life refuge in your garden! And that you (and grandson) can appreciate the less 'fluffy' creatures. Unfotunately I live in a flat, in London which is bereft of reptiles, I keep geckos, but captive reptiles is not the same.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Interesting lens...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      cool :)

    • MillBucks profile image


      9 years ago

      Awesome lens and awesome garden, you have really created a paradise for your lizards and yourself. Simply beautiful!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You have a stunning garden. It looks beautiful and inviting.


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