The water restrictions and lack of rain flowed by the heavy rains and localised flooding has certainly been a challenge to many gardeners this year. Water shortages continue to be a reality and will likely become the norm as failing infrastructure and lack of investment into it by the council along with more homes in the area will mean even more pressure on water supply. Gardeners will always find a way to garden and one has to look after your investment into your property.
With that gardeners and homeowners have had to look at the garden more carefully to make sure everything is surviving and with that you learn more about your garden and the plants that do well become your new favourites.
Absolutely all the Agapanthus
Rock stars of the summer garden, these #WaterWise indigenous gems grow in full sun to light shade. There are many new varieties available in so many shades of blue to purple it will be hard to choose your favourite. Feed them with an BioOcean an organic fertiliser which stimulates flowering and it will also keep them lush. Agapanthus flower all summer and the rest of the year add a lush foliage to the garden with their shiny strappy leaves.
Look out for Black Panther which has dark purple flowers with almost black buds opening on stems well over 1.2M high. The repeat flowering variety Twister has large flowers, and is a combination of blue throated petals with white. Great White is a medium growing agapanthus which the most beautiful white flowers with a strong stem. The flowers last longer than most agapanthus in the garden.
New Zealand Rock Lilies
Tough, water wise, hardy, growing in semi shade to shade and the fact that they flower through summer makes them a must have in the garden. Botanically they are Arthropodium but we know them by the much easier name of Rock Lilies. They originate from New Zealand where they use them much the same as we use Clivia's in South Africa. They grow well under trees and look great when planted in groupings. During winter they die down as many perennials do and then through spring they shoot out fresh and lush growing about 40cm high in a clump that also gets bigger as the plant matures. We think every garden should have some.
Not just because they are water wise we have favourite succulents in the modern garden because they are so versatile. In small gardens filling gaps in the sun or planted in containers on a balcony or patio, they are super sexy. The trend we are seeing is that many people start collecting all the different ones too.
When planting you succulents make sure they are in well drained soil as they do not like being water logged. Succulent mix is ready made for container plantings to take the guess work out of the best soil mix for them. They don’t need feeding and much water but if you do water them and feed with Nitrosol you will be rewarded with fatter and larger leaves.
Fabulous Day Lilies
As the water restrictions started to bite this year the Day Lilies stood up and shone. We have never had quite as spectacular show in our display garden as this year. They thrive in dry hot conditions and prefer a bit of neglect. A mixed bed makes a very pretty show if you have limited space but the best impact comes from planting one colour in a grouping along a driveway or where you look down on the bed from an upstairs window or balcony.
As perennials Day Lilies multiply every year with mature plants giving numerous spikes of flowers. They flower for a few months but each individual bloom only lasts for a day or so which is where they get their name from.