Desperately want to paint your garden in bright colours, but water conscious at the same time?
Impossible to combine the two, you might think!
....Let us introduce you to these cheerful, drought tolerant flowers!
With its masses of flowers (fully open in the sunshine), the indigenous Osteospermum is a very popular choice as a bedding plant in South African water wise gardens.
They work equally well in containers and you can even plant the cascading or prostrate varieties in hanging baskets. Pairing them with complimentary foliage is a great way to incorporate them into a planting and guaranteeing there will be colour even when it’s not in bloom.
There are many Osteospermum hybrids in an array of colours available these days, and these will especially appeal to gardeners who want to avoid using yellows and reds in their colour schemes.
The perennial Osteospermum requires a sunny position in the garden. Water regularly after planting (it will be water wise once established). Using your grey water from the bath and shower (remember to use biodegradable products) are perfect for this.
Vygies (or Mesembryanthemums) are truly South Africa’s most colourful plant group. They are not only easy to grow, they’re also drought tolerant and grow vigorously. And there are so many beautiful species to choose from!
Although Vygies are technically succulents, they are neither thorny nor arid-looking. Many give a lush appearance, even through times of drought. And the flowers, with their numerous shining petals, are countless in colour and size.
The best known vygies are the Drosanthemums, Delospermas, Lampranthus, and Bokbaai vygie (Dorotheanthus)
Plant your Vygies in a sunny, well-drained position. Vygies thrive in many different soil types and need little nourishment.Plant them in hanging baskets, rock gardens, slopes, borders or even in pots.
This flamboyant and versatile plant is well known to most gardeners - especially as a pioneer for new gardens, as it’s a fast growing plant, able to withstand hardship.
Gazania hybrids are extremely showy plants when in flower - largely due to its warm and bright flower colours, beautiful large flower size, and its long extended flowering period. It not only catches attention from friends, family and visitors, but will also attract bees, butterflies and other interesting insects to your garden space.
Gazanias grow best in a sunny area in the garden and need well-drained soil, but will thrive in most conditions. Once established, they are water wise and will require little attention.
For optimal blooming, fertilise every now and then and remember that the flowering season will be extended if the old flower heads are removed.
The many uses of Gazanias are never ending!
Plant it in a border, in containers, as a filler or even on a slope or retainer wall. Mass plantings look spectacular, or plant it in your rock garden together with other hardy, drought tolerant plants.
Have you met the merriest MARIGOLD?
The Marigold might be common, but she's also colourful, inexpensive, easy to grow AND water wise!
The cheerful Marigold has no problem surviving in hot, challenging environments.
It’s also fast growing, resistant to many diseases and pests AND blooms non-stop for virtually the entire summer – the ideal choice for adding instant colour in the garden over the festive season.
Plant Marigolds as a border in garden beds, or in pots for splashes of colour. It’s also great additions to window boxes and hanging baskets.
It’s rare that you look at a ground cover and your first thought is “Wow, that’s absolutely gorgeous!” ...but this succulent ground cover plant inspires exactly those kinds of thoughts!
If you're looking to fill in a bare spot with some colour, or perhaps wanting to provide an attractive understory for a garden bed, or to cover a large unsightly area....the pretty (but surprisingly drought tolerant) APTENIA might just be the best option for you!
In summer, scores of fuchsia-red flowers pop open from the centers of the small rosette clusters, providing beautiful colour in the water wise garden.
When happily planted in a sunny spot in the garden, you will not only be able to enjoy the gorgeous blooms of this toughie, but also have special visits to your garden from bees and butterflies!