Cape Town Drought- How to cope?
Cape Town has been declared a disaster area. While this should have happened months ago in order to fast track and implement structures and solutions to the crisis in the Cape, its still an important factor in overcoming the the effects of our almighty drought.
This may be a mere inconvenience to many, but to some, its a nightmare! One of the greatest advantages to living in Cape Town, is its incredible scenery, which we try to bring into our more immediate surroundings by planting gardens.
How can we cope?
There is no short answer to this unfortunately. Many nurseries are giving unsound advice in order to up-sell the plants on their shelves that, in this climate, will simply not survive. Here are a couple of tips that WILL help:
1: Minimise lawn space and try an alternative.
Lawns are water guzzlers, and in order to stay lush and green they suck up as much water as they can get. There are many alternatives. Synthetic turf has improved drastically over the past few years and when installed correctly, can mimic turf grass incredibly well. Mulched entertainment areas are also making a massive comeback, whether its pine bark or wood chip, its bound to make a serious impression in any rustic garden, especially as its almost maintenance free.
2. Hard landscaping
Hard surfaces require no water, so are ideal for these conditions. The added benefits are also incredible. No mud in winter when the rains do eventually return, they're easy to clean, fit with any style of garden and require little to no maintenance. Be it decking, paving or stone chip to take up large flat surfaces, the possibilities are endless when it comes to cost, design implementation. Building raised flower beds adds height, sophistication and style to any garden and can be made out of whatever material you desire. The limited planting space means less to look after and ultimately, less to worry about.
As a side note: Permeable (water can run through) hard surfaces are far better for the environment, as much needed rain water isn't directed to storm water drains, but rather into the ground where it belongs. Alternatives to solid paving are to leave gaps for plants between each paver, or to have them angled towards flower beds to preserve our precious water.
3. Plant choice
Plant choice is crucial. Keep it simple and limit variation in each bed. You are far more likely to have success planting agapanthus "en-masse" than you will be by mixing a massive variety into the same bed. Plants must be grouped according to their water and light needs. The advantage to this style of garden is neatness, structure and less maintenance.
Plant indigenous, hardy, Waterwise. This doesn't mean the plants wont be pretty or wont flower. A happy indigenous protea showing off its blooms will be all that more rewarding because you didn't have to work very hard to get this statement.
4. Speak to a professional
Speaking to a professional will often save you a lot of time and even more money. The process of building up a garden to withstand these conditions can be daunting, especially when you're not particularly green-fingered.
Here at Julip we are all about the final product but also the process. We offer design, consultations and implementation on all of the above mentioned and would love to help you bring out the best in your garden. For any of your garden needs, drop us an email on email@example.com, call on 079 660 2063 or pop into our nursery for some free advice while we walk you around our nursery.
(image courtesy of pinterest)