Nothing says ‘proudly South African’ quite like the sounds of the bushveld, a braai with friends, and a silhouetted Acacia tree at twilight. Now you can bring the bush to your own backyard and make every weekend a reason to get out and enjoy the aromatic, African air. With a variety of low-maintenance, indigenous plants and a few clever tweaks, you can turn your garden into a beautiful, bird-watching paradise. Here are a few easy ways to create your own bushveld garden at home.
Let The Landscape Speak
Before cutting down that old tree or removing those rocks, why not use the existing landscape and architecture to your advantage? Leafy ferns and trees with bulging roots add a lovely variety of texture to your garden. Indigenous thorn trees may not make for the best picnic spot, but a simple pallet pathway leading to a cosy hammock or bench may just bring out your garden’s natural beauty.
Building a fire pit from collected rocks is cost efficient and effortlessly evokes that rustic, unrefined, bushveld feeling. Make the most of uneven areas by creating your own boma with wooden stumps for stools. Bring in a variety of pebbles to create even more texture, and showcase bold, dead tree features with a few lanterns.
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Our rockery at #highacregarden. It is a beautiful example of a natural garden. Everything you see on the image was planted with great care and attention to detail with the intention to recreate a natural ecosystem. #ecozest #ecozestgardens #naturalgarden #rockery #wildgarden #gardendesign #landscapedesign #gardendesigner #landscapedesigner #plantdesign #gardenroutegardens #southafricangarden
Bulk Up Your Bush
‘Bulking’ shrubs, ferns, and creepers make excellent and easy space fillers, impressive barriers, and even pretty cloaking devices to disguise those dull walls and fences. Include striking Crane Flowers (Strelitzia reginae), a fragrant Gardenia bush (Gardenia augusta), and a few evergreen Kei-apple shrubs (Dovyalis caffra). These will not only fill gaps in your garden, but may well surprise you with their easy to maintain, effortless beauty.
A variety of local, low-maintenance grasses are also great for adding diversity to your proudly South African bushveld garden. Try planting some dreamy Snowflake Grass (Andropogon eucomis) along pathways or around empty tree beds. They are also great for those areas where nothing else seems to grow.
Attract Birds and Critters
Planting endemic flora is not only a win for the environment, but also a victory for little garden visitors. Bees play a vital role in human existence and crop pollination, so help the little guys out by adding some sweetly scented Honey Daisy (Euryops virgineus) to your bushveld. While you’re at it, inviting a kaleidoscope of butterflies is easy too. Just plant brightly-coloured butterfly bushes such as Geraniums (Geranium incanum).
Cork Bush (Mundulea sericea) is an excellent choice for Highveld naturescaping with purple flowers providing food for multiple insects and birds, who in turn are sure to bring that all too familiar bushveld choir to your patio. Hollowed-out tree stumps and large rocks with natural indents make for great bird baths and a welcome refreshment for other bushveld guests.
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My little wildlife ‘pond’ area is coming along…new additions of iris and water mint this week. Had my first punters…a wood pigeon and a goldfinch 😊. #wildlifegarden #wildlifegardening #wildlifegardens #wildlifefriendlygarden #wildlifepond #gardeningforwildlife #gardeningfornature
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Recycler
With a little love, a scrap piece of wood can have many uses. A wooden slab can be made into a beautiful serving board. A hollowed-out tree stump can be turned into a shallow pot for succulents. Or, simply decorate old tree stumps, tables, and low walls with Aloe plants in earthy pots. Aloes are avid sun lovers, water wise, hardy, and come in a vibrant variety of sunset hues.
By adding to your existing garden with indigenous plants and texture, you can create an exquisite bushveld garden. Then, all that’s left for you to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells.