The concept of regional gardening is not a new one. It is based on the fact that the plants that occur naturally in your region are the very plants that will give you a low maintenance and coordinated look to your garden.
The concept of an english style garden is based on rolling lawns and lush foliage accompanied by profuse blooms that bring a lot of colour. This is very unpractical in the African landscape as we suffer from drought, heat and severe cold, especially on the highveld where these plants in order to survive have to be watered regularly and covered in winter to protect them from frosts - Quite a hassle.
The natural beauty of the African landscape is a very different aesthetic to the English country garden. It is an aesthetic that is subtle. It has immense hidden beauty. One has to look hard to notice the gems that are in front of you. This is the appeal of Africa, the Dark continent.
The same can be said of the flowering plants here, their blooms are not copiuos, they are life giving and sustaining. Their function underlies their form. Herein lies the secret to a successful garden.
If you design a garden that attracts the creatures that live off the plants you introduce, you could create a balanced ecosystem that feeds and houses these creatures. There will be no need for poisonous and expensive insecticides and fertilisers. The creatures will feed off each other, and in so doing create a healthy balanced environment. An environment that is in harmony with all its occupants, including the human ones.
Let's start by putting a few trees in sympathetic groupings that occur naturally in the Gauteng Highveld.
Group A - typical Kloof grouping.
Group B - typical Koppie grouping.