We begin this Joburg garden planting party with the water-wise superheroes of the plant kingdom. Succulents are the ideal group of plants to add to your garden, as they need little care and thrive in arid conditions. Hardy cacti can also prevent soil erosion and make for an incredibly interesting prickly aesthetic.
Why not cordon off a section of your garden to dedicate solely to succulents? You can create your very own rock garden with just a few assorted cacti and different sized rocks. Your rockery doesn’t need to be monochromatic though. Lay down some hardy vygies for bright pops of colour and a shimmering effect. Or, plant the miracle Spekboom – a succulent so important to eradicating climate change that it has garnered it’s own viral internet challenge!
If you’re looking for a water saving succulent ground cover, try out Plectranthus Neochilus, otherwise known as Lobster Bush. With it’s tiny bursts of purple-blue flowers, this cover provides excellent contrast, as well as an aromatic smell to please the butterflies and bees in your garden. This plant can be grown from cuttings and should spread rapidly if cared for correctly. Make sure not to over water it and you should be good to go!
Agapanthus are one of the most common plants found in Joburg gardens. With their wide, round blooms, these white or purple plants can brighten up even the most dull garden bed. Although they mostly flower in summer, Agapanthus can withstand fairly harsh weather and a certain amount of neglect. ‘Aggies’ as they are affectionately known to some gardeners, also create great height in a garden. If your Joburg garden doesn’t have a patch of these pretty purple plants, add them as soon as you can.
Aside from the King Protea, the Strelitzia Reginae is one of South Africa’s most well known flower exports. Strelitzia flowers resemble the head of a crane, hence their common name – Crane Flower or Bird of Paradise. Give your garden a feeling of paradise by planting these unique and hardy plants. Once established, these plants can withstand dry conditions without losing their brilliance. This is a definite must-have for any Joburg garden worth its salt.
Tulbaghia (Wild Garlic)
Even though our garden is looking rather purple at the moment with all the Lobster Bush and Agapanthus, we couldn’t resist adding a few Tulbaghia Violacea. Also known as wild garlic, this is one of the hardiest species on our list. It may look dainty and pretty, but this flowering fellow can survive both dry spells and heavy rain – perfect for a garden bed that must withstand the ever-changing Joburg weather. Butterflies also love this plant, so find a nice semi-shady spot for it in your garden.
Who doesn’t love a good herb garden? Herbs add an array of lovely smells to your garden, especially when freshly watered. Rosemary, however, needs only an adequate sprinkling of water every one to two weeks when mature. Plus, the reward of plucking freshly grown herbs from your own garden to add to your Sunday roast or gin cocktail is ever so pleasing. Thyme is also an excellent drought-resistant aromatic to add to your garden beds. Soon, you should have an entire kitchen cabinet in the making growing just outside!