GARDEN PROJECT

Re­duce the main­te­nance and wa­ter de­mands of your garden for an out­door space that is dy­namic, en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble and un­ex­pect­edly beau­ti­ful

Condé Nast House & Garden - - CONTENTS - Tirzah Webb 8 tirzah@mweb.co.za; n Heimo Schulzer Gar­dens 8 hs­gar­dens.co.za

Hardy in­dige­nous species prove their worth in a minimal-ir­ri­ga­tion garden

there’s always a price to pay for cli­mate ex­trem­ity. It bodes wor­ry­ingly for the up­com­ing grow­ing sea­son, and wa­ter re­stric­tions across the West­ern Cape are now a sign of the times. Land­scape ar­chi­tect Tirzah Webb, with land­scap­ing com­pany heimo schulzer gar­dens, has cre­ated a garden de­signed around plants that revel in sun­shine and drought.

The con­cept for the garden – orig­i­nally a lawned area sur­rounded by over­grown shrubs – was phased along­side a ren­o­va­tion to the fam­ily home. The own­ers re­quired a new garden con­cept that res­onated with their busy life­style and looked great de­spite newly im­ple­mented re­stric­tions on wa­ter us­age. The first to go was a wa­ter-guz­zling fig tree, which al­lowed a state­ment to be made of the ex­ist­ing Cork oak and Pin oak. These trees were opened up for light and views while re­tain­ing screen­ing and pri­vacy from sur­round­ing neigh­bours.

The pool, now con­nected to the home via an en­ter­tain­ment pa­tio, serves as a link be­tween liv­ing space and garden. ‘I love the way the pool ex­tends into the garden now,’ says Tirzah. ‘It adds an ex­tra di­men­sion to the liv­ing space and brings the garden into the home beau­ti­fully.’ a colour pal­ette of muted greens and softly un­du­lat­ing clipped shapes of Bud­dleja and sear­sia species en­hances an ef­fort­less tran­si­tion from in­doors to out. a river of elec­tric-pink

Ly­ch­nis coro­naria planted en masse pro­vides an un­ex­pected pop of sea­sonal colour.

all plants were se­lected for their abil­ity to stand up to harsh con­di­tions and minimal wa­ter re­quire­ments. a com­bi­na­tion of in­dige­nous and Mediter­ranean plant species fit­ted the bill and ‘ticked all the right blocks in the pretty de­part­ment’, says Tirzah. drought-tol­er­ant plants tend to share char­ac­ter­is­tics that help them con­serve mois­ture so they can cope in ar­eas of low rain­fall and/or minimal ir­ri­ga­tion. The plant pal­ette here is a fine dis­play of species with these adap­ta­tions. The leaves of Stachys

byzantina (Lamb’s ear) are cov­ered in fine hairs to help re­duce the dry­ing ef­fect of the wind, and the sil­very-coloured Nepeta

mussinii re­flects the sun’s rays to keep the plant cool. Leaves with a small sur­face area, such as grassy Fes­tuca glauca and Laven­der ‘Mar­garet roberts’, pre­vent mois­ture loss through evap­o­ra­tion. Brim­ming with nu­anced plant com­bi­na­tions and a pal­ette of plants whose del­i­cacy de­fies their tough­ness, the garden is a mas­ter class in bal­anc­ing na­ture and de­sign.

Soft mounds of Sear­sia cre­nata in­ter­planted with Laven­der ‘Mar­garet Roberts’ are good op­tions for a dry garden

above, from left a gravel path flanked by long-flow­er­ing elec­tric-pink Ly­ch­nis coro­naria and spires of laven­der ‘mar­garet roberts’; the sil­ver, vel­vet-tex­tured fo­liage of Stachys byzantina re­flects the sun­light in hot, dry cli­mates

a Pin oak makes a hand­some fea­ture at the far end of the garden

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