Here are a few all-time favourite plants to consider for your garden along the Garden Route:
Any type of Aloe plant is always a good option. These upright plants with mostly bright flame-coloured flowers are seen all over. Different species flower in different seasons and they are all great for attracting sunbirds. Plant them in large clumps for a spectacular showing. They love water, so water them regularly during summer and give them fertilizer during spring to ensure a good show.
Clivia is an easy-to-grow plant, indigenous quite popular with collectors. Their beautiful cluster of flowers heralds the beginning of spring. The plants are happiest and grow best where they receive bright daylight but little or no direct sun – in shady areas, under trees, in containers or on a veranda. It is also available in other colours, like pale yellow and deep reddish orange.
The elegant arum lily is a must in any garden. The attractive white flowers with long, broad, dark green leaves stand out among other plants and add interest to a flowerbed. It flowers during winter and spring in our area. Arum lilies thrive in moist soil in full sun to partial shade. Choose a sheltered position and add some well-rotted organic matter before planting. If they are happy in your garden, the plants will reward you with long-lasting cut flowers.
One of our most loved proteas is the evergreen shrub, the Pincushion, native to the southwestern Cape. The flowers grow on roundish shrubs that grow to about 1.5m high. Once established, it is a wonderfully rewarding and low-maintenance plant, with the added bonus that birds love it. The exotic cut flowers makes for bold arrangements and will add a proudly South African touch to your home for weeks.
What a unique flower the well-known South African plant, strelizia is. Identifiable for its striking colours and unique shape, it is also called the crane flower because its magnificent blooms are reminiscent of a crane with a crown of feathers. It is a South African icon and appears not only on our 50-cent coins, but also in flower arrangements all over the world. If you would like to grow the plant, only water it when dry and keep the soil well mulched.
The widely used Afrikaans name vygie, which literally means ‘small fig’, is loved all around. This little plant is indigenous to the southwestern Cape. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and a wide array of colours from pinks to purples and oranges to yellows. They are a great addition to a rock garden or other dry areas because you do not need to water them very often and they flower reliably and spectacularly. The succulents are also easily propagated with cuttings and butterflies just love them. January is the ideal month to propagate perennial vygies from cuttings.
Enjoy the warmer weather, plant some all-time favourites and relax in your, soon-to-be, beautiful gardens.