- All during the season the animals catch direct sunlight and get a varied menu, so there is no need to provide vitamin D3 and lime or other supplements. Every clutch of eggs will hatch without any problems and give healthy animals.

- Varied food supply; while catching their food they get the necessary exercise (my garden has been free of snails for many years!). In case of doubt you can of course give additional food.

- My lizards are never troubled by ectoparasites. My theory is that the ants in the garden finish off the lice and ticks. The animals are indeed not bothered when ants walk over them..

- The colours of the animals are more beautiful than in a terrarium..

- All kinds of combinations of reptiles are possible, which could never be done in a terrarium. Think also of the possibilities of combining them with amphibians.

- Care during holidays is minimal. The only thing I ask neighbours or friends to do is to check the fence for overgrowing branches, that is all. Holidays between September and March are not a problem at all, because all the animals are hibernating.

- I think the biggest advantage is the return of their natural behaviour..


- Hibernation needs extra attention. But there are many possibilities: isolating, covering up and even warm parts in the garden. (See: ‘Hibernating’)

- Predators from the neighbourhood, such as cats, can cause problems. Although my experience is positive.

- Counting the animals could be tricky, especially the toads and newts. They are usually invisible. As well as during hibernation, I sometimes can’t find my lizards in the summer for a while. In warm summers some lizards rest for several weeks! As soon as the temperature drops they emerge.

- Always stay alert to opportunities to escape, such as an open door to the garden, overhanging branches and cracks in the fence.

- Finding clutches of eggs could prove to be a problem.