A change of seasons offers new opportunities and challenges for any gardener. In the Highveld, winter brings with it nature’s equivalent of load shedding. The biggest challenge for many gardens is to survive with very little or no water at all. Establishing a water-efficient (water-wise) garden through landscaping that compliments an energy-efficiently designed building, is rewarding on many levels, and really not that hard to achieve. Stand 47’s footprint is complemented by thoughtful landscape design that ensures year-round natural beauty.
A resilient garden is winter-proof, water-wise and low maintenance, saving you both money and time.
When planning a water-wise garden, select indigenous plants that are local to your area, as they are normally most suitable to cope when conditions are dry.
A wonderful, water-wise way to brighten up any Highveld winter garden is to plant a variety of indigenous aloes. Aloes are low-water use, succulent plants that reveal their fiery orange, yellow and red flowers in the months of winter and range from the 6 m Aloe arborescens to the tiny, low-growing Aloe aristata. Aloes require very little maintenance and make ideal focal points for any garden rockery.
Another solution to bleak winter gardens is to design a garden that accommodates indigenous plants that are native to the Highveld. Plants such as Buddleja salvifolia, Ziziphus mucronata and Celtis africana are highly adapted to icy Highveld winters and will survive the cold by exhibiting frost-tolerant characteristics such as smaller leaves and slow-growing tendencies\
Hints and tips for winter gardening:
- Reduce watering on lawns to once every two or three weeks in winter.
- If you have not already done so, apply a thicker layer of mulch to your flower beds to retain heat and prevent cold damage during the winter months.
- Low water-use indigenous plants only need to be watered in winter if they are showing signs of water-stress. Water only once every 8 weeks if necessary.
- Moderate water-use plants only need to be watered once a month in winter.
- High water-use plants should be watered 2-3 times every two weeks during winter months.
- Remember that the evaporation rate on the Highveld is almost zero in winter. This means that less watering and irrigation is required in the garden.
For more information on this and other water-wise gardening tips, visit www.waterwise.co.za