Water saving gardening tips

HAPPY GARDENING: Robbie Winter (chairman of the garden club) and Sally Mulligan.

AT the Johannesburg South Garden Club meeting, guest speaker Sally Mulligan, from Sally Sunshine Nursery, spoke about water wise gardening and how to plant correctly, to save water.

“Our nursery in Walkerville is a natural nursery and we grow many herbs, as well as seedlings, plants, shrubs, trees, etc.,” she said.

”We have two boreholes on our property, which helps tremendously with watering, but a bit of advice I can give to all gardeners is to use mulch as much as possible. I use leaves and pieces of tree bark, which I lay thickly around the bottom of plants and it really does help to keep the soil moist.

“We all need to try to plant water wise and, if you visit your local garden nursery, you can ask which plants will do well with little water. Usually the greyer the leaf, the less water the plant will need.

”Lavender, Rosemary and sage are all good to grow and won’t need much watering. ”Perennials to consider include Leonotis leonuris (wild dagga) which has beautiful orange flowers and Pelargonium cuccuistum (wild geranium), with its velvety leaves and masses of light purple flowers.

“Ground covers include Gazania hybrids, which are available in beautiful colours, Arctotis suriculata which have grey foliage and large daisy flowers in an assortment of colours, and Osteospermum jucundum, an excellent evergreen ground cover with large pink or purple daisy flowers.”

Sally also recommended that the club members take into consideration planting which will encourage birds, bees and butterflies, and said indigenous plants are ideal for this.

“Aloes can make a lovely show, and also use grasses,” she advised.

”You can even do a whole bed of grasses with stones and dry river beds. Put in plants or grasses in threes or fives; odd numbers are always recommended in the gardening and flower world.”

Sally has a stall at The Art Farm, Plot 56, Klipriver Road, R550, Alewynspoort, every Saturday, and can be reached on 083 393 1921 if you require any further information on water wise plants.

Related Articles: 

Johannesburg South Garden Club’s garden competition – part 1

Time for tea at Johannesburg South Garden Club meeting

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