Winter is coming! A short but wonderful opportunity to make the urgent changes required to liberate our properties from the chaos of Cape Town’s water crisis.
Now more than ever is the time to make those urgent structural changes to our properties that are now most necessary if we want to enjoy our outdoor lifestyle by next summer.
The people of Cape Town, the Western Cape and many other parts of urban South Africa will need to reclaim the joy of suburban living by changing the structure and the layout of their properties. This will be challenging for many but it is vital if we are to adapt to the new reality that piped water is going to become an expensive luxury.
Planning changes takes time. Implementing these changes takes more time. The planting of the ‘new’ improved garden is the final and last stage, so now is the time to start the planning.
Change your property today!
Despite the long held and outdated belief that every home needs lawn for whatever reason, it is clearly apparent that in a dry summer climate this is simply not possible anymore. Unless there is free water from a borehole this situation is not going to work anymore.
What good is a barren, brittle and ugly lawn in the summer months? See the changes I made last winter by clicking here.
Currently the only viable option for lawn replacement is achieved with good design that incorporates new layout, new surfacing and other structural changes.
These include combinations of the following;
- Water-wise plants
- This is the environmentally sussed option that has the most creative possibility. This actually results in more attractive, sustainable and enlarges the footprint of the garden.
- Ornamental gravel
- Ornamental gravel is also environmentally sound and also offers excellent creative scope.
- Timber decking
- This is a wonderful product. In the right places it serves us well adding a natural and soft surface that extends function space and provides the family with a perfect surface from which to enjoy the garden. Forget the old approach of varnishing; go for the natural maintenance free option of an untreated hard wood that weathers well and relates perfectly to a green environment.
- Do not discount paved areas. They are both decorative and function providing ‘real’ play areas for a modern family. Adding paving into the garden extends outdoor spaces and connects the home with the garden much more than lawn would do.
- This really isn’t my favourite. It is not environmentally friendly as it cannot be recycled or repurposed. It however it is still a valid option for some families.
Working with the nature:
There are only four months available at our climate’s current capacity. Four months to get those indigenous and water-wise plants established.
As a landscaper I have been through many droughts and I know that working within the natural seasonal cycles is the key to success. It has always been this way.
The Cape planting season begins late March. It is then that we can plant those indigenous, water-wise and succulent plant species. This applies especially for home-owners who do not or cannot use municipal water for gardening.
In our work we have proven year after year that planting the correct plant species during the first rains of the season is very effective.
These plants have the winter months to establish themselves without the added assistance of any municipal water.
Soon the dew begins to fall at night and the moisture present in the earth increases with every bout of rain that falls. This is enough to sustain and allow the establishment of our tough indigenous plants.
By summer, these plants are well established and perfectly capable of surviving.
Landscapers choose the best plant species and trees for residential and commercial properties. We also address the demands of a modern environment and through considered design we can mitigate the effects of climate fluctuations and the cost of maintenance.
We have previously written that landscaping is no longer a luxury but a necessity if we are to adapt to climate change and government incompetence. Previous articles on this subject can be seen on our website – click here to view.