Save Money When Watering Your Garden
Times are changing… Not only are we living in a society where the economy is slow, causing consumers to tighten their purse strings. Droughts come and go more often than what we were used to and we as consumers need to adapt our lifestyle to make ends meet.
South Africa is a versatile country where a variety of climate areas exist. From warm and tropical areas to dry and bushveld like landscapes, our country offers a lush variety of plant life. What could be more beautiful than surrounding your home with a beautiful garden? Planting living works of art to beautify your home, giving you a place to find serenity and joy. But it’s not always affordable and planting and maintaining a beautiful garden takes time and energy.
With the recent drought in the Western Cape and other parts of the country, consumers have learned more about their water resources and come to understand how fragile and costly water supply can be. There is no need to take away the pleasure of a garden or to only pave or plant rocks in your garden! Rather opt for planting waterwise plants that are low maintenance and can cope with periods of heat and low rainfall, that way you will reduce your water bill. Many homeowners, especially in the Western Cape, have installed water storage tanks to collect rainwater to feed into their gardens over the dry times. Capetonians have learnt to comply with the water restrictions imposed, currently at Level 3, being 105 litres/day/person allocated to each household.
We have spoken to the garden experts and here are some suggestions of stunning waterwise plants that will suit your garden:
Tulbaghia (Wild Garlic) is one of the hardiest species on the list and has become very popular with gardeners and landscape architects around the country. It has a long-flowering period, and when mass planted creates a stunning display with its pinkish-mauve flowers. It can survive extended dry spells as well as heavy rain. This hardy plant is generally fuss-free provided it is used in a sunny to semi-shade position. Clumps can be split after a few years and used elsewhere in the garden.
Popularly known as Hen-and-chickens, Chlorophytum comosum can be used to good effect to cover bare soil in semi-shaded conditions in your garden. Mass planted they make a stunning display and work beautifully on a semi-shaded embankment or on a retaining wall. The variegated varieties also brighten up those dull spots in the garden, whilst the green variety adds a beautiful, lush forest effect. Some home owners prefer to cut the ‘chickens’ off the mother plant, but it is often preferable to leave these in place as they will soon root themselves and help to spread the plant around your garden, thereby helping to prevent soil erosion and aiding water retention.
This beautiful succulent groundcover is a favourite for retaining walls and dry patches of soil where other plants may struggle. It is rich green in colour, with dainty pinkish-red flowers and can spread rapidly, helping to cover an area in a short space of time. It can be used to stabilise soil in areas which may be susceptible to run-off or erosion and can be used as a lawn replacement for difficult to reach areas. A golden-coloured variety is also available.
These grass-like perennials have become ubiquitous on South African verges and in gardens. They are very hardy and once established require little watering or maintenance. A few varieties are available, including Dietes grandiflora with white flowers, and Dietes bicolor with yellow flowers. They can be mass-planted to create beautiful backdrops in a flowerbed or used as filler shrubs for dry areas in the garden.
Also known as Pork Bush or Elephant’s Food, this indigenous evergreen is an environmental miracle worker, with the potential to tackle carbon emissions like no other plant can. Whether you’re a succulent fan or have yet to hear about this magnificent tree, here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about this wonder plant. Hectare for hectare, Spekboom thicket is ten times more effective than the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One hectare of Spekboom can sequester between 4 and 10 tonnes of carbon per year. This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world.
Tips for water-wise gardening:
- Go indigenous, planting what occurs naturally in your area. Exotic plants often need more water.
- Group plants with similar water needs together so you don’t overwater less thirsty plants while attending to the thirsty ones.
- Use mulch to stop moisture escaping.
Source: Glenis Ebedes