It is important to remember that opting for alternatives to synthetic garden inputs is important, but also part of a wider system of enhancing natural cycles in your garden. What is also needed is a changed approach to gardening because the transition to organics goes hand-in-hand with these system-wide changes of bringing nature back into your garden.
We are at a stage where rates of biodiversity loss are unprecedented in human history and the need to create habitats for all forms is critical. Encourage biodiversity by creating habitats for frogs, birds and insects or provide food by planting indigenous plants that supply nectar, seeds or berries. The ‘Life as a Garden’ campaign advises the following to South African green gardeners: for nectar, plant Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis), protea species and Tree Fuschia (Halleria lucida); for berries plant dune current (Allophylus natalensis); and for seeds plant grasses such as the broad leaf bristle grass (Setaria megaphylla). To attract butterflies and insects, try the Lavender Tree (Heteropyxis natalensis) or the Ribbon Bush (Hypoestes aristata). Also remember to create a range of habitats to attract different species and a diversity of animal life.
The benefits of creating an indigenous garden are multifold. You’ll not only save water but will help protect natural fauna and flora in your garden with positive spinoffs for natural ecosystems which are often invaded by ‘problem plants.’
In South Africa, we’re all beginning to realise the importance of water as a precious resources and there are a number of ways your garden can help. You can decrease your lawn area to save water as lawn requires a lot f watering. Choose plants appropriate to your climate, and water in the morning and late afternoon. You can also retrofit your house and gutters with easy water-saving options like directing your gutters to thirsty garden beds, install a drip irrigation system that infiltrates water slowly and, importantly, install a system to catch and harvest rain water.
Source: Simply Green Issue 1, 2011
Also read Synthetic-free Green Gardening.
The Kei-apple (Doyvalis caffra) is also a great plant for the garden with its delicious fruit (enjoyed by humans and animals) and it can be used as a security hedge with its formidable spines (see 5 Green ways to protect your home and save electricity).
Water Rhapsody’s water conservation systems such as our rainwater harvesting system and greywater irrigation systems, can also help to make your home and garden more eco-friendly and they save money on your water bills too.
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems has incorporated Yes Solar Mpumalanga so that we can offer solar water heating systems to further reduce your environmental impact (water and energy are linked). Yes Solar is a distributor for high quality solar energy systems that are competitively priced and are SABS- and Eskom-approved and are fitted by qualified, Eskom-accredited solar installers. Now is the time to install a solar geyser while the Eskom rebates last (this money will run out eventually) and before the looming energy crisis arrives. Solar water geysers can reduce household electricity costs by up to 50%.
Water Rhapsody’s WWF AWARD-winning water conservation systems (product demo) include rainwater harvesting systems, grey water recycling systems, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flushing mechanisms and rainwater tanks (we are authorized JoJo Tanks & Atlas Plastics water tank dealers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo- best water tank prices in the Lowveld!).
Our water and solar systems will save the environment while you save money on water and electricity bills; get free water and free water heating!
Contact us for a free quote on a solar geyser, water system, rain water tank or water tank.