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Top 5 tips to convert your exotic garden to an indigenous paradise

  1. ‘Local is lekker’ and it is a worldwide trend to plant what occurs naturally in your area. Look at the trees in your garden and identify them or enlist the help of your local nursery or landscaper. Remove all alien invader trees and plants. The Working for Water web page will be useful to identify these plants.
  2. Decide which trees to keep and start looking at what grows well in the area. Visit your local botanical garden for inspiration. Ask your local nursery and your neighbours. Don’t be tempted to plant things that are not from your area as they will not survive the conditions like frost, wind or rain in the wrong season.
  3. Observe what shrubs and groundcovers grow in the shade and which ones prefer a sunny spot. This will prevent losses in future. Plants also suffer from sunburn!
  4. Observe and research the water requirements of plants. Ferns like lots of water and prefer to be in the shade whereas Vygies like less water in the full sun.
  5. Plan to do sections at a time. Make notes and plan carefully. I recommend that you enlist the help of a landscaper who is familiar with indigenous plants. They could give you suggestions regarding the plant choices and features in your new, exciting indigenous garden. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Cherish the birds, bees, butterflies and ‘wildlife’ that visit your new sanctuary.
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