It is common knowledge that a garden can highlight the best features of a house and can make that all important house sale a walk in a park. But with rain clouds in short supply and temperatures soaring, summer is here with a vengeance and all over the country gardens are being scorched by the African sun. Not only are hydrangeas wilting and petunias kicking the bucket but your once prized lawn looks like a brown strip of veld – the only plants thriving seem to be the mother-in-laws-tongue.
However, before you curl up into a foetal ball of self-pity, you realise that all is not lost. This is the time to be resourceful, dig deep into local knowledge and make sensible choices regarding what goes into your garden. Even in these conditions, it is not impossible for you to hear someone clinching the deal to buy your house saying, “Yes, the garden sold me!”
4 Tips for Water-Wise Gardening
Take a good look at the gardens in your neighbourhood. The trend is for South African home owners and landscapers to establish water-wise gardens that are low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable. Read on to find out how to establish an environmentally friendly garden and save money as well.
- Choose the Right Plants
Your local nursery will gladly show you indigenous plants which are adapted to harsh South African conditions. Strelitzias, wild iris, proteas, agapanthus and watsonias are examples of indigenous plants that are known to withstand drought conditions and in mass planting create visual interest in prominent positions.
- Group Plants with Similar Watering Requirements
Grouping plants with similar watering requirements together is financially and timorously economical. This means that only certain areas of the garden need to be watered regularly. Showcase these plants and have them as a prominent feature in the garden. Once these plants are established, watering is reduced. Plants requiring less water can then be considered for the rest of the garden. Laying a thick layer of mulch on the flower beds cuts down the water loss and protects the plants from the harsh elements.
- Reduce Lawn Areas
Traditionally South Africans enjoy lawns big enough to get an impromptu cricket match going, but this might just be the time to reduce that big expanse of lawn and cut down on the water bill. By replacing some lawn with either hard surfaces or ground covers, precious water can be saved.
- Lawn Maintenance
In terms of lawn maintenance, care should be taken not to cut the lawn too often or too short, either of which will create stress for the lawn. Lawn sprinklers should only water areas that need it and timers should be set for early morning or late afternoon.
As a home seller in the harsh South African climate, we hope you follow these easy steps towards creating your own water-wise garden that will save you money and still end up with people saying, “The garden sold me.”