Looking Into The Future
Designed by Ben Botha Landscapes
Global warming and water shortages have become a very ugly reality, which cannot be ignored when it comes to gardening and landscaping, and I have chosen the water wise theme to show the importance of gardening wisely in the future. Using natural materials, such as rocks, stones and gravel, creates interesting elevations and provides good drainage for succulent plants, and also provides a home for insects and other smaller animals. The planting is all indigenous, with the inclusion of succulents such as aloes, bulbines, cotyledons, crassulas and a variety of succulent groundcover. A number of herbaceous indigenous species, like trees, shrubs and colourful groundcovers, can also be part of the selection. By covering the ground with either gravel or plants as groundcovers, water is preserved as moisture is retained in the soil.
The use of containers can add colour and shape to the garden and can be useful for succulent plants that require very little water. Not only are these gardens water wise, but the quality of the soil becomes so much better as the natural cycle is restored, bringing micro-organisms, bacteria, insects, birds and other wildlife back to the garden.
These gardens have become very popular with a wide range of people including keen gardeners, plant collectors, people who enjoy birds and other wildlife, but mostly people who want to preserve and save water. The fact that these gardens are normally low maintenance gardens has also made them popular with non-gardeners and people who want a lock-up-and-go situation, and not be concerned about watering the garden.
The circle in my display represents earth, the raised beds are the shape of a broken heart, and the dry river bed depicts water shortages. The frames are the windows of the future, and the message is quite simple: Love earth by saving water, and garden accordingly!
Ben Botha – Ben Botha Landscapes