Latest News:

Flourish Garden Blogspot


Waterwise Garden Design Tips :


Take the time to identify different areas in your garden that give you clues on where to situate plants with particular water requirements :

  • Under the eaves of the house, the soil is often very dry.
  • The bottom of a slope will be damper than the top!  It may seem obvious but many people forget.
  • Walls and fences have a rain shadow, plant all plants at least 300mm from the bottom of the fence or wall.
  • East and south facing sides of the garden will retain more moisture as they are shaded for most of the day.


Contour sloping garden areas to reduce surface run-off :

  • Build terraces on very steep slopes.
  • Some ground covers have a soil binding effect that will reduce run-off, like prostrate grevilleas and myoporums.
  • Mulch will also slow down the run-off.


Group plants with similar water requirements together :

  • Plants from Mediterranean countries ie. Lavender, rosemay, cistus, olive, like a well drained, fairly infertile soil and tolerate drought conditions.
  • Plants from forest areas ie. Azalea, camellia, daphne, like cool roots, lots of compost and dappled shade.


Consider using indigenous plants :

  • Indigenous plants have evolved to grow in our area, are suited to the soil and rainfall, so apart from some pruning, extra care is mimimal.


Lawns use up to 70% of garden water :

  • Look at reducing the size of you lawn area.
  • Consider using a more water efficient turf or native grass.  A native lawn is slower to germinate and requires a little more effort to establish but the long term benefits far out-weigh the inconvenience.


Gardens should be mulched at all times :

  • It is one of the easiest thing you can do in a garden to save water.
  • Mulching materials can include the following ;
    • Leaf litter (one of the best & inexpensive options)
    • Organic compost
    • Hay or straw
    • Bark or woodchips
    • Stones or rocks (great for frosty areas)

Tips for Surviving the Drought!

To create water smart gardens, there are six vital principles:

  1. Reduce lawn areas
  2. Group plants according to their water needs
  3. Maintain the garden
  4. Use mulch
  5. Water efficiently
  6. Use drought tolerant plants

In waterwise gardens three planting zones can be distinguished requiring plants with varying tolerances.
All three zones can occur in a single garden and frequently do.

Zone 1 :

  • The outermost unprotected boundary, the first line of defence.
  • Here the only plants that can succeed are those that tolerate the prevailing conditions ie. Wind, salinity, low moisture and poor nutrients.

Suggested plants :

Banksia integrifolia Eucalyptus citriodora
Olea europaea Arctotis sp.
Ulmus parvifolia Gazania sp.
Coprosma repens Senecio
Westringia fruticosa Gleditisia triacanthos
Cotyledon orbiculata Nerium oleander
Senna artemisioides  


Zone 2 :

  • This zone is offered a significant degree of protection  by either artificial screens or the establishment of Zone 1 vegetation.
  • Allows a wide range of hardy plants to grow where irrigation is regular but not lavish.
  • Ideally plants are watered every 7 – 10 days in summer and only when necessary in other seasons.
  • The greater part of most gardens will fall into this zone.

Suggested plants :

Punica granatum Dodonea viscosa sp.
Koelreuteria paniculata Berberis thunbergii
Escallonia bifida Philotheca myoporoides
Agonis flexuosa  Lavandula sp.
Abelia schumannii   Clivia miniata
Viburnum tinus  


Zone 3 :

  • This zone is an area that is well sheltered from wind, a microclimate in which to grow more tender plants.
  • It can be created by using zone 1 and 2 to enclose it or it can be located in a courtyard between fences or buildings.
  • A copse of trees can be established to give protection from direct sun if more exotic plants are selected.
  • In an enclave like this, the soil can be pampered and irrigation provided as frequently as needed; this could be every second day in hot weather.

Suggested plants :

Bergenia cordifolia Fatsia japonica
Montera deliciosa    Acanthus mollis
Azalea sp.  Hydrangea sp.
Home Page Home Page Contact Us