Eco-gardening: cultivating a sustainable tomorrow | Everything Property
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Eco-gardening: cultivating a sustainable tomorrow

gardening
Tanya Visser

WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY :: PHOTOS SUPPLIED

Gardener extraordinaire and media personality Tanya Visser shares advice on what to plant for water-wise gardening and we look at the best way to keep your grass green.

SA garden expert Tanya Visser and the East Coast House + Garden Show are promoting waterwise gardening practices ahead of Water Saving Week, recognised globally in the face of ongoing water scarcity issues and the impact of climate change, from May 15-19. One of the best ways to be waterwise is to plant indigenous plants that have adapted to the local climate and require less water. “It is essential to prioritize waterwise plants in our gardens to minimize the use of scarce water resources, especially in regions with limited water supply,” says Visser.

A WATER-STORING WONDER FOR CLIMATE ACTION

The Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) also called “elephant’s food,” is a beloved household favourite. This succulent plant has a remarkable ability to store water in its leaves. Not only is it a low-maintenance delight for gardeners, but it also plays a significant role in combating climate change as an exceptional carbon sink. Furthermore, its effortless propagation from cuttings adds to its widespread appeal.

VIBRANT FLOWERS FOR WATER-WISE AND POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY GARDENS

Agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus), with their captivating blue or white flowers, grace gardens across the country. These resilient plants are renowned for their ability to thrive in drought conditions, requiring minimal water. As a result, they are an ideal choice for water-wise gardens. Notably, Agapanthus also attract bees, butterflies, and nectar-loving birds, making them a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly landscapes. Beyond South African gardens, Agapanthus have gained international popularity, finding their place in home gardens and parks worldwide. Through extensive cross-pollination, their colours have transformed into an incredible range, from deep black to velvety blue, adding to their allure.

RESILIENT SUCCULENTS FOR WATERWISE LANDSCAPES

Aloe Hybrid

Aloe (Aloe ferox) another remarkable water-wise succulent, thrives in the hot and arid conditions of South Africa. Its minimal water requirements and adaptability to poor soil make it well-suited for challenging environments. Notably, Aloe ferox possesses medicinal properties and has been utilised in traditional medicine to address ailments like acne and skin abrasions. If the large Aloe ferox is not suitable for your space, consider exploring the more compact Aloe Hybrids. These hybrids result from selective breeding and cross-pollination, rather than genetic modification. Their low and compact nature makes them an excellent choice for small gardens, pots, and containers.

BIRD AND BEE MAGNET FOR PRUNING ENTHUSIASTS

The Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) is a fast-growing shrub, bursts with clusters of vibrant orange or yellow tubular flowers that beckon birds and bees. Its remarkable response to pruning has made it a favoured option for hedging among gardeners.

DAZZLING BLOOMS FOR WATERWISE LANDSCAPES

Cape Daisy

The African Daisy (Osteospermum ecklonis) showcases dazzling, daisy-like flowers in shades of purple, pink, and white, serving as a captivating highlight in any garden. Not only does it thrive in water-wise environments, but it is also a popular choice for borders and rock gardens. The large, open-faced blooms of the African Daisy are particularly adored by butterflies. 

REVIVE YOUR LAWN

There’s no need to watch your lawn turn brown, discoloured, or patchy as winter sets in. Simply mow your lawn, sow Bigbag broadleaf lawn seeds, and cover them with a light layer of soil and water. Within 14 days, Bigbag will grow to form a consistent patch of new lawn that is lush and green, whether in full sun or shade, for residential or commercial use. And it stays that way. It is drought- and frost-resistant and will grow where other grasses will not.

Bigbag shares a striking resemblance to Kikuyu in terms of appearance and texture. However, it stands out with its vibrant, richer green colour and a significantly longer root system. That means they need less water and fertiliser than other lawns because the long and extensive root system can seek water and nutrients further into the ground.

It’s much easier and cheaper than installing roll-on lawns or removing or uprooting existing lawns or weeds. “With our seeds, sowing can be done at any time of the year, as they can germinate and thrive in any season. Once established, our lawns proudly maintain their vibrant green colour and pleasing texture throughout the year,” says Dean Philips, product specialist.

“It’s worth noting that our seeds are cultivated naturally and are not genetically modified, ensuring a wholesome and eco-friendly approach to lawn care. They are 100% safe for humans, animals and the environment. They don’t need a starter fertiliser, either. Simply sow and cover.”

 

Don’t miss the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show from 1 – 9 July 2023 at the Durban Exhibition Centre.

For more information, visit www.housegardenshow.co.za or follow them on

Instagram: @housegardenshow and Facebook: @housegardenshow.

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