A few years ago out of frustration, I started on a gardening journey. After losing the fight against a howling southeaster, dry summers and sandy, nutrient poor soil, I knew I had to reclaim the land. I rejected my English colonial garden and sent the oppressors packing – throwing out all the fragile exotics, I started planting local, water-wise plants and my garden became proudly indigenous.
The desert of grass is gone, the aphid and scale infested roses are gone, replaced with winding walkways, wooden decks surrounded by wild mulched beds of indigenous plants. Aloes, restios, acacias, cycads and succulents fill the space, attracting loads of birds and insects.
Because my garden is indigenous there’s no need to use insecticides or pesticides – everything balances out. The chameleons are back, butterflies and bees abound and if I scratch under the mulch, a whole world of insects emerges.
I’ve loved the journey, and best of all the plants in garden have been resilient through the current drought in the Western Cape. Every month different plants flower so there’s always colour.