• Jessica Evans

How to set up an eco-friendly spring and summer garden

Spring has sprung! It's a time of productivity, abundance, and blossoms, blossoms, everywhere! If you're lucky enough to have a garden, you'll know that now is the time to plant new things and prep for the year ahead. So here are some tips on keeping it eco-friendly. We're talking water-wise, carbon-sinking, bee-friendly eco-havens! Enough chit-chat - here you go!

Opt for the beautiful indigenous plants SA has to offer, like the vibrant strelitzia. Photo by Jessica Evans.

1. The drier the better

SA is suffering a terrible drought. A huge way you can help is by planting plants that don't need much water to look beautiful and thrive. Forget the thirsty likes of roses, agapanthus, and hibiscis and instead opt for succulents like aloes, lavender and spekboom.

An added bonus to having spekboom in your garden is the fact that it just about vacuums CO2 from the air. That's right - it makes a great hedge plant, it's water-wise, AND it's a CO2-sucking fiend!

If you're not certain whether or not a plant is water-wise, take a closer look at it. If it has a grey leaves, fleshy leaves, waxy leaves, needle-like leaves, or hairs on it's leaves, it adapted to cope with immense heat and sunlight and low-water conditions, so it can do just fine with minimal water.

2. Bust out the bee favourites

Bees are in need of a lot of help. They help us and it's time for us to help them. An easy way to help our bee population is to plant food for it. Plant lavender, black-eyed Susans, daisies, purple cone flowers, basil, rosemary, chives, thyme, borage, and sunflowers to bring on the bees and you'll be helping them out a whole lot.

A bonus of bee-friendly gardening is that these plants tend to attract butterflies, too, so it'll feel like you'll have your very own patch of paradise!

If you want to know more about how you can live a more bee-friendly lifestyle, click here.

Bees will love just about any flowering plant, so fill your garden with blooms and they'll come buzzing! Just be sure to keep it indigenous! Photo by Jessica Evans

3. Ain't no aliens welcome!

Keep it indigenous with your new spring and summer garden. Alien species can be ultra-thirsty, using 3300 MILLION cubic metres of South African water annually!

Not only that, but they can also wreak havoc on our indigenous ecosystems because they can be invasive. Water plants like water hyacinth (a beautiful flowering surface plant), Brazilian water weed, and water lettuce, ruin our water systems by blocking out the sun and killing anything in the water.

So be aware of the plants in your garden and your ponds - they have effects that reach much further than you might realise.

4. The less lawn the better

Lawns are monumental wastes of space and water. Just think of how much habitat you can create for bees, birds, and other critters if you used the space your lawn takes up! Think of how much water you'll save by cutting lawn watering from your water consumption.

How about getting creative with bigger flower beds, magical walking paths and small patches of lawn? Not only can you get those creative juices flowing, but you can craft your own flourishing paradise!

Spring is a time of 'out with the old, in with the new'. Get rid of those old harmful plants in your garden and get planting our own beautiful indigenous offerings. Make a day of it and enjoy the warmer weather while you spend some time out and about, converting your garden into an eco-friendly paradise.

©2018 by Bite-sized Sci | Jessica Evans