With rising temperatures and prolonged periods of drought, water, our most precious commodity is becoming quite scarce in so many regions of the world. Rainwater harvesting is becoming a prerequisite not only to landscapers and Nurserymen but also the private homeowner.
How has this changed the way we garden? By changing our habits and stop being so wasteful I say.
Certain plants are very resilient particularly native or indigenous species and these should be encouraged by local authorities and environmentalists. Exotic plants are far more demanding in terms of watering and this is why we have to adapt and change the way we garden. As an industry professional, it's our responsibility to educate and inform the public about water-wise gardening and in doing so, introduce new design techniques and landscaping methods.
How can we achieve this? Grey water systems are most effective if properly installed and managed. This used water does not have an adverse effect on plants if it is filtered properly and obviously small reservoirs and tanks are also a very viable option for watering plants. Water retentive mulches such as bark, leaf litter, unscreened compost and even straw or seaweed can be used economically around your plants to prevent soil evaporation and suppress weeds.
Planting succulents or desert plants are also a wonderful way of conserving water. These come in a huge variety of colours, shapes and forms and make superb architectural features in your garden. Finding practical solutions like these will ensure you get the maximum reward out of your garden both now and in the future.
This article is written by Phil Skerritt of Enchanting Gardens who can be contacted on 0837851156 or for more information on his work please visit our website www.enchantinggardens.co.za with a link to our Facebook page.