As we kick off another year, many are starting to reflect on their New Year’s resolutions for 2016. In the landscaping and garden side of things, the start of a new year hails the perfect chance to nurture outdoor spaces that are not only eye-catching, but sustainable and practical as well. Whether you have vowed to clear up unused spaces to make way for an edible container garden, you intend to plant some indigenous plants that attract bees and butterflies or you simply want to get around to creating an outdoor area that can be used daily, what better time to set some garden resolutions than the start of a new year?

Getting Back to Basics

Sustainability and simple living are both becoming a way of life. With water restrictions in place over summer in many parts of South Africa, including Gauteng, there is no doubt any longer that simple, easy to maintain gardens are the way forward. There are many things that take your garden away from the simple requirements of beauty, tranquillity and enjoyment. Water-hogging lawns, dense flower gardens that take a lot of time, effort and fertiliser to look good throughout the year, expensive alien plants that do not adapt to our climates – even over-packed gardens that are unable to thrive for want of space. Some of the ways that you can get your outdoor space down to the bare essentials include the following:

  • Plant water-wise plants that are native to South Africa and better equipped to handle our climate and soil conditions.
  • Consider natural swimming pools as an eco-friendly alternative to chlorine swimming pools.
  • Choose fuss-free plants that require less maintenance as the seasons change.
  • Invest in professional landscaping design to help you make the most of available space.
  • Consider gravel or environmentally friendly grass as an alternative to thirsty lawns.

2016 Forecast: Container Gardening

Container gardens may not be a new concept. But, as the demand for space savvy garden solutions continues to rise, containers are a logical option that is increasingly popular in residential and commercial gardens. What makes container gardens an ideal choice for 2016 is their convenience, flexibility and sustainability. By using the limited space you have more effectively; you have the chance to grow an abundant of plants – both edible and otherwise – in even the smallest of areas. Top trends and ideas for container gardens include:

  1. Fruit and vegetables. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is not only the best way to ensure 100% organic produce; it is also a great way to create sustainable, moveable food gardens that can be used in residential, commercial and community environments. Fresh herbs also grow well in containers.
  2. Living walls. Natural, growing dividers and walls can be made using troughs, trellis’ and climbing plants such as ivy, wisteria, clematis, star jasmine and other vines and climbers. These provide privacy on balconies and in small gardens, and can be moved easily in their troughs.
  3. Hanging gardens. The concept of containers does not always have to be limited to pots sitting on the ground. Hanging planters are a space saving solution for those who want plenty of greenery, but lack floor or surface space. Herbs, climbers and numerous plants can be used in hanging baskets and planters.
  4. Focal plants. Adding a plant or two in key areas, such as entrances, doorways or sitting areas is an effective way to add focal greenery even in areas that are completely covered by concrete or brick. Ornamental fruit trees and similar plants are particularly good for this purpose.
  5. Defined space. Define certain parts of your garden with grouped containers of flowering or leafy plants. Elevate walkways or awkward, unused parts of the garden with well-chosen plants in containers of varying sizes. Create designated edible and non-edible gardens in large containers.

Are you ready to take your garden back to basics this year? Let FSG help you start the year off on the right note with professional landscaping that is designed to help your garden thrive like never before. Visit us online at www.fsgroup.co.za or call us on 011 763 2925 today.

Download the “Preparing your Garden  for the New Year Ahead” Article.