Added to SPECXpert recently is an exceptionally useful guide on waterwise greening.
Terraforce supply retaining walls and erosion control blocks. The aim of the guide is to provide information on indigenous plants suitable for growing on the plant supportive retaining walls that Terraforce manufacture.
The plant lists are divided into six horticultural categories and reflect sunshine and water requirements, as well as suitable climatic regions. The categories covered are shrubs, succulents, herbaceous perennials, ground covers, climbers and bulbs. The climatic regions include SW Cape, Coastal, Lowveld and Highveld.
The planning of a plant supportive retaining wall requires, apart from structural and cost considerations, to be looked at from an environmental point of view. Indigenous plants are ideally adapted to prevailing climatic conditions. They generally require less water and maintenance, are deep rooting and can contribute considerably toward adding competence to these installations.
With a water-wise garden, one can create a peaceful place that will provide shade, perfume and even colour throughout the year. With careful planning, correct plant choices and good maintenance, a water-wise garden can survive with minimal water during the dry season.
There are 8 basic principles to water-wise gardening:
- Follow the natural rainfall patterns
- Provide shelter from the wind and sun
- Group plants according to their water needs
- Improve the soil, be it sand, clay or loam. Add compost to increase the soil’s water-holding capacity
- Spread a mulch layer between the plant immediately after planting
- Reduce your lawn
- Water correctly
- Grow water-wise plants
- Featured here is a small stream lined with Terrafix erosion control blocks. The planting is mostly indigenous. Also pictured is a recently established Terraforce retaining wall planted with Convolvulus Mauritanicus — a North African climber.