Gardening trends Part three: Indigenous & Style

Gardening trends Part three: Indigenous & Style

Natural indigenous gardens are the most common gardens that I am requested to install. This style of gardening is common throughout the developed world especially those gardens found in Australia, California and the Mediterranean countries.

The wild, natural garden lets us mimic what we see in nature around us. Gardeners then had little understanding of the growing habits of native plant species, but these days we have accumulated greater knowledge and are now producing an ever increasing amount of indigenous plant species and their hybrids. With better know-how we are now able to re-create the classical garden styles of old, but with exciting new material that is uniquely South African.

There are indigenous plants for all style interpretations and when chosen in the correct combinations South African plants can combine to bring into being styles resembling;

• English Country gardens
• French gardens, formal and informal
• Italian and Islamic gardens
• Japanese and other oriental styles
• Grassland or Prairie (Savanah) gardens
• Modernist and Minimalist gardens
• Rock gardens
• Tropical gardens

Succulent plant species alone offer the staunch water wise gardener a wide variety of planting opportunities. From the flatter growing Vygies, through to the larger Aloes, Karoo trees and scrub, these gardens can be rife with colour and textures. This style of garden is also an excellent companion for modern architecture.

Our bulbs, ferns, large leafed and sub-tropical species can be combined to form lush generous green gardens, bursting with colour and abundance that can resemble a tropical environment.

Fynbos varieties including the ubiquitous Protea and Pincushion species combine well with Restio’s, small leafed flowering shrubs like Tecomaria and Coleonema’ to create those uniquely Cape environments.

Local grasses combine excellently with all indigenous plants and they can also be used in partnership with rhizomatous varieties and bulbs to create soft modern gardens.

Phyllica pubescens

Our plants are stimulating to research and to use in garden design, because in South Africa we have such an amazing abundance of plant material to choose from.

Exploring indigenous plants has been a fifteen year long personal journey of exploration, experimentation, observation and research and has been journey well worthwhile.

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