Many of us have the desire to create a lush green garden surrounding
our homes, but we seldom realise the impact this has on our environment,
especially on dwindling water resources. Most of our drinking water
goes to waste. Research shows that 62% of our domestic water is
either flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain. A further
35% is used in the garden. Most people tend to over-water their
gardens with the result that millions of litres are wasted every
Most of our main water supplies come from dams that are built
in natural catchment areas which flood vast areas of wilderness,
farms and homes. With every dam the natural flow of the rivers are
disturbed down stream and whole ecosystems with unique plants, animals
and insects are lost forever. The demand for water is increasing
daily making it necessary to build more dams. The government is
forced to formulate new policies and water tariffs are likely to
By conserving water wherever possible, we can delay the building
of new dams, tunnels and pipelines. This will save money and protect
the environment. It is a responsible choice, and our gardens are
a good place to begin.
With a water-wise garden one can create a peaceful place that will
provide shade, perfume and even colour throughout the year. With
careful planning, right plant choices and good maintenance a water-wise
garden can survive with minimal water during the dry season.
For any water-wise garden there are 8
Basic Principles that are simple and easy to implement.
The articles on Veld
Gardening will help you select plants growing naturally in your
This list of plants
has been drawn up for gardens in the winter rainfall Western Cape
See the Gardening and Greening Section of our
Catalogue for books on water-wise gardening.
Liesl van der Walt