Planting

Design for SHADE

Designing for shady areas is always tricky, especially when the area gets sun for some time of the day and shade for another part of the day. Areas of deep shade are also problematic and it is not always easy to know which plant species will do well in those conditions. Most plants can tolerate shade for part of the day but if the area is below a dense canopy of trees or on the south side of a building where it receives little sun throughout the day it is best to plant Shade Plants.

So what should I plant?

Shade gardens can often be dominated by large leafed plants all the same dark green colour so I like to add contrast with different coloured greens, several leaf textures and variegated foliage where possible. I also like adding a variety of ‘tiers’ or planting heights using large shrubs at the back, medium sized groundcovers in front of them, followed by low growing groundcovers in the front. Since lawn is problematic is shade conditions you can use pavers, gravel, bark chip or a combination of these floor coverings and create pathways through the beds with areas for resting such as a bench or secluded spot.

The skeleton or framework of the garden should consist of trees and larger shrubs - giving height, structure and backdrop of foliage. Examples of larger shrubs that do well in shade conditions include Mackaya bella (River Bells), Duvernoia adhatodoides (Pistol Bush), Burchellia bubalina (Wild Pomegranate), Diospyros whyteana (Bladder Nut), Plumbago auriculata (Leadwort) and Orthosiphon labiatus (Shellbush).

Middle range sized plants include Plectranthus (so many wonderful species that I will write a separate Blog showcasing some examples), Dietes, Carissa bispinosa and macrocarpa (NumNum), Hypoestes aristata (Ribbon Bush) and Ferns.

Lower growing groundcovers include Chlorophytum spp., Asparagus spp., Agapanthus spp., Crassula multicava ‘Ruby’, Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum Lily) and Clivia miniata (Bush Lily). I often try to encourage clients to make use of Seasonal Bulbs to add colour and interest and the added delight of discovering them grow when you forgot they were there. Examples of Bulbs that do well in Shade include Scadoxus ‘Katherinae’, Veltheimia bracteata, Crosocmia aurea, Haemanthus albiflos, and Crinum moorei.

Focal plants are great for making a statement or highlighting a certain area in the garden and can include Dracaeana aletriformis (Large Leaved Dragon Tree), Dombeya tiliacea (Forest Wild Pear), Gardenia thunbergia (Forest Gardenia) and Strelitzia reginae (Crane Flower).

If you need some inspiration take a look at the images below showing a few of the plants mentioned. If you need assistance with a landscape development plan please contact me.

Clivia miniata (Bush Lily)

Clivia miniata (Bush Lily)

Crassula multicava 'Ruby'

Crassula multicava 'Ruby'

Draceana aletriformis (Dragon Plant)

Draceana aletriformis (Dragon Plant)

Asparagus virgatus (Broom Asparagus)

Asparagus virgatus (Broom Asparagus)

Scadoxus ‘Katherinae’ (Paint Brush Lily)

Scadoxus ‘Katherinae’ (Paint Brush Lily)

Crinum moorei (Moore’s Lily)

Crinum moorei (Moore’s Lily)

Crocosmia aurea (Falling Stars)

Crocosmia aurea (Falling Stars)

Why you deserve a beautiful garden:

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Life is hectic, chaotic even. People live fast-paced, stressful lives balancing work, family, traffic, deadlines and commitments. You often just need a place to stop. And Breathe. An outdoor space provides the opportunity to listen to the birds chirping; feel dappled sunlight or a soft breeze on your face; and a place to experience that sense of peace that only nature can bring.

 

A landscape or garden is any outdoor space that can provide this solace. It can be the backyard at your office, the neighbourhood park, the hospital courtyard, or your garden at home. Humans crave a connection with nature and a well-designed garden can bring a feeling of balance and calm to the soul.

 

Spending time in a beautiful garden can be rewarding and delightful:

 

Improvements at work

-          Increased employee satisfaction and productivity

-          Positive health benefits

-          Cooler micro-climate

-          Increased property value

 

Making family memories at home

-          Playing ball games on the lawn

-          Letting them water with the hosepipe and the water fun that follows

-          Treasure hunts and hide and seek

-          Climbing trees and tree houses

 

Meeting with Nature

-          Discovering earthworms as you dig in the soil to plant new plants

-          Growing plants from seed and watching them grow

-          Discovering insects and birds you’ve never seen before

 

A Sense of accomplishment

-          Growing a vegetable garden and providing food for your table

-          Picking flowers to put in a vase at the front door

-          Contributing positively to the environment by planting indigenous plants

 

Planning is the first step to a beautiful outdoor space. Let’s start today. Contact Sprout to schedule a site visit. Everyone deserves a beautiful garden #loveYOURGARDEN

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House E Indigenous Planting

Indigenous Grasses with Cycads and Aloes. Trees screening neighbouring house.

Indigenous Grasses with Cycads and Aloes. Trees screening neighbouring house.

House E is a stunning example of the beauty that South African flora holds and makes use of indigenous grasses with several focal plants in between.

A grass mix including Aristida junciformis and Melinis nerviglumis was interplanted with several bulbs such as Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Dierama spp, Eucomis autumnalis and Eucomis comosa, which formed the main planting theme.

Several feature plants grow out of the grass mix including Aloes, Proteas, Cabbage Trees and Cycads.

Trees: Large Olive trees were used as the primary screening elements which were interplanted with Loxostylis alata, Dombeya rotundifolia, Heteropyxis natalensis and Nuxia floribunda. Dais cotinifolia were also added as feature trees.

Shrubs: a screening hedge of Dodonea angustifolia created a green boundary and smaller shrubs such as Polygala myrtifolia, Coleonema alba and Euryops virgineus were added.

Before and During Construction

After Implementation and then the greener images are taken 4 months after installation.

The Herb Farm at Doonholm Nursery

Fennel flowering - beautiful combination with purple of Lavender

Fennel flowering - beautiful combination with purple of Lavender

I attended a seminar at a venue called The Herb Farm at Doonholm nursery a few weeks ago and was delighted to discover this piece of gardening paradise! The gardens consist of a South African indigenous medicinal herb garden, a reflection pond, a spiral labyrinth herb garden, a scented rose garden and an educational garden. All the plants in this garden (trees, shrubs, groundcovers, climbers, annuals, succulents) are herb plants and this garden has been created to showcase the incredible range of herbal plants at our disposal.

A plant lovers delight! Amazing plant combinations, variety of colour and texture

A plant lovers delight! Amazing plant combinations, variety of colour and texture

The gardens began in 2006 and evolved over the years (the owner described it as a “lappieskombers” or “patchwork quilt”) so that each year a new section was added. It is estimated that it now contains over 450 types of herb plants.

Educational Garden with terraces of herb planting

Educational Garden with terraces of herb planting

There are numerous signboards throughout the garden indicating plant names and their uses. In the Educational Garden you will find: Herbs for Pets, Scented Herbs, Healing Herbs, Insect Repellent Herbs (On a side note I have heard that certain herbs deter pigeons, I really need to find out which ones!) Companion Herbs for Veggie Gardening, Flavour Herbs for Cooking and Herbs for Teas. Herbal plants have numerous beneficial properties and it is widely accepted that our knowledge of the potential that plants hold is under utilised. Look at https://healthyliving-herbs.co.za/medicinal-herbs/ to see specific herbs and their health benefits.

Sprout visits Herb Farm

The Scented Rose Garden: Planted entirely with scented roses ranging from strong to subtle scents and light to dark coloured blooms. Rose petals are edible, used to flavour rose water for food and cosmetics, and used to make confetti and potpourri.

Rose Garden with Steel Gazebo

Rose Garden with Steel Gazebo

Beautiful Rosemary

Beautiful Rosemary

Refreshments are available at The Herb Cafe. Conference Facilities for smaller groups available. Please contact them before visiting as access is by appointment only. 264 Summit Road (R562), Midrand (Olifantsfontein Offramp) Tel: 0861 244 837 or info@herbfarm.co.za