Level 5 Drought Survivors – What Are our Garden Designers Planting?

Level 5 Drought Survivors – What Are our Garden Designers Planting?

Tried and tested – What our designers are planting now in preparation for the hot summer.

This summer in the Cape is predicted to be very dry with very little rainfall over our catchment areas compared to previous years. Our gardens need to be as resilient as possible to be able to withstand the lengthy periods between rains. So what drought survivor, water wise plants are we at Cape Contours Landscapes planting now in preparation for the hot summer? We asked two of our Garden Designers, Lucy Schnell & Cara Smith and our Head of Maintenance, Heather Stipinovich, for some of their drought survivor plants. More plants to add to our previous post on our top Water Wise plants (link here)

Strelitzias (both reginae & juncea)

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

Beautiful architectural, lush-looking, large-leaved foliage and bright, exotic ‘crane’ flowers, these proudly South African beauties are great on mass in large gardens for contemporary homes or used in combination with other indigenous plants in the more natural garden.  Require full sun and up to 2m of space, but smaller varieties are available too. “Once established they are almost bullet proof” – Heather Stipinovich

Limonium perezzi

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

These indigenous plants are mainly grown for their beautiful dark purple flowers that are held above their leaves through spring and summer. They love full sun in well-drained soil and look beautiful in large grouping combined with water wise grasses. “Great colour & tough,tough,tough!” – Lucy Schnell

 

Carissa bispinosa

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

Glossy green leaves and large jasmine-like flowers, these indigenous shrubs are excellent for providing year-round green structure to the garden as hedges or even clipped into low box-like space dividers. Will grow well in semi-shade and have thorns for added security benefits, but slow to start. “Year-round garden structure and green even with very little watering” – Cara Smith, Landscape Designer

 

Osteospernum ecklonii

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

A green, perennial, sprawling groundcover that is great for slopes, hanging baskets or gardens near the beach and as a front border to beds.  Masses of white or purple, daisy flowers with dark centres. “Sat quietly through the summer drought and bounced back with gay abandon as soon as the rain arrived, and now in full flush to make it worth the wait.”  – Lucy Schnell, Landscape Designer

 

Jacobaea maritima

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

Formally known as Cineraria senecio, this tough plant makes a brilliant white contrast plants against other plants in the garden. Its lightly furry leaves make this plant water wise and able to withstand low levels of watering for longer periods. – “Old fashioned it might be, but a true survivor” – Heather Stipinovich, Head of Maintenance

 

Nandina domestica

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

A great plant for Zen garden spaces, this plant looks and feels like a delicate Bamboo. Growing to 2m tall and about 1.2m wide, it works well against the house where a bit of height is required. “Surprise! Have seen it survive with NO water in two gardens in hot sunny aspects without so much as a wilt.   Who would have thought this plant, which holds its leaves so delicately, could be that tough?” – Lucy Schnell, Landscape Designer

 

Aristida junciformis

Clean lines and shapes and minimalist planting make this a dramatic garden!

A textured, tufted grass growing up to 1.2m wide and high whose tips turn a light pink in summer. ‘Gongoni grass’ has roots that can spread down to 1m to find water below the hot surface. Lends a soft and ethereal feeling and looks beautiful in large swathes against more colourful perennials like Salvias and or structural succulents. “Soft yet strong, these plants keep their shape and texture with very little watering required. Great for verges or areas that need very little maintenance.”  – Cara Smith

As with all plants, and also of these tougher species, water is still most certainly needed for establishing good, strong roots systems. All these plants are extremely tough and will survive long periods of drought, but must be well established to do so.

Happy gardening!

References: Cape Contours Landscape Solutions Maintenance & Studio team

Image references

Pinterest

Wikimedia Commons

https://www.sali.co.za/water-wise-plants/

 

By |2017-10-16T08:08:04+00:00October 14th, 2017|Garden Design Tips, Plant Database, Water Wise|3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Natasha October 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Hello,
    Thanks for a very useful article. Do you know which nurseries in Cape Town have stock of the Aristida Junciformis & Limonium Perezzi?
    Am looking to acquire some to plant again a north facing wall in my back yard.
    Regards,
    Natasha

    • Bridget Fogarty October 23, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Most nurseries should stock these as they are fairly common plants – and particularly with the current drought conditions they should be increasing in availability. the larger Nurseries should definitely have, such as Cape Garden Center or Super Plants.

  2. Denni Duff November 8, 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Splitting hairs perhaps but Limonium perezzi is not indigenous to South Africa although it does thrive here and grows with abandon in my Hermanus garden.

    SANBI (Plantz Africa) says ” One common relative from Europe seen in many South African coastal gardens is Limonium perezii with its large leathery leaves and bright purple and white flowers.”

    Limonium peregrinum aka Sea Lavender is indigenous.

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