Zandvlei Trust

Plant local indigenous in your garden

(Extract article from the volume 2007/4 Newsletter)

Creating a truly indigenous garden means planting the vegetation type that is appropriate to your area. Anything else is likely to die or struggle to flourish. Have you ever tried to plant mountain proteas on the Cape Flats? They either die or hang on looking stunted and miserable.

The word indigenous has no meaning unless it is attached to a specific place. In terms of gardening, most people understand the word to mean South African. Why do we choose to have an indigenous garden?

  • We want an evironmentally friendly garden.
  • We want a waterwise, low maintenance garden.
  • We are proud of our natural heritage
  • Indigenousplants are generally hardier.
  • We want the garden to look natural
  • We want to attreact indigenous wildlife to our gardens.

The problem is that we dont achieve many of these goals with indigenous plants from Natal, or Limpopo or other parts of South africa.

In Cape Town the vegetation type changes within a very short distance because of the unusual topography and climate. There are many different fynbos types here, such as Strandveld, Sand Plain fynbos, Renosterveld and Mountain fynbos. Most of the southern suburbs and Cape Flats are either Sand Plain fynbos or Strandveld.

The next problem is knowing which species belong to the different vegetation types. Retail nurseries are starting to display indigenous plants according to their respective vegetation types. This makes it a lot easier for the buyer. Living near the sea for example means that you can purchase any of the plants displayed in the Strandveld garden section with confidence.

The establishment of the Cape Flats Fynbos Nursery by the Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei came about because of the need to supply locally indigenous plants to the southern suburbs and Cape Flats; and to preserve the threatened Sand Plain fynbos.
The nursery is at CAFDA on the corner of Prince George Drive and 8th Avenue, Grassy Park.

For more information : Neil Major at 076 473 7095 or 


 Top of page  Back  Home