Go indigenous

Planting indigenous plants in your garden supports our local flora and limits the number of invasive species entering our natural spaces. An indigenous garden will help to create a healthy ecosystem and support biodiversity.

Non-indigenous flowers and trees may look good in our gardens, but they often require a lot of work and use a lot more water. They also provide little or no food for honeybees, indigenous pollinators, songbirds, and other endemic wildlife, which sadly leads to the reduction of our bird and bee populations. Often non-indigenous plants grow faster than indigenous species, displacing them and suppressing the endemic flora.

A few Interesting facts about Swellendam indigenous plants:

Swellendam’s natural biome is fynbos, renosterveld and thicket. Very little of this is statutorily conserved (only 4%) and the biome is seen as ‘endangered’. As much as 40% or more of our natural local plant life is already lost due to farming.

Fynbos, Renosterveld and Afromontane forest are types of vegetation which form part of the Cape Floristic Flora.  Fynbos is a small belt of natural shrub land or heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. This area is predominantly winter rainfall coastal and mountainous areas with a Mediterranean climate. Renosterveld is a term used for one of the major plant communities and vegetation types of the Cape Floristic Region which is located in southwestern and southeastern South Africa.

The natural biodiversity of these biomes are incredible. Why not have a piece of this in your garden?

  • Indigenous plants are well adapted to our climate, they attract wildlife to your garden, including birds and butterflies. Indigenous trees and fynbos attract pollinators and birds that will spread pollen and seeds and in turn create a self-sustaining ecosystem.
  • Indigenous plants have adapted to our dry climate and can survive in poor soil conditions during the drought season. Non-indigenous plants use a lot of water, so by planting indigenous you also save water during times of drought.
  • They provide colour right through the year and you will be surprised at how beautiful and diverse they are. Many can be used as cut flowers in your home.  As one gets to know the indigenous flora, especially those growing in above natural biomes, it becomes a love affair.
  • The Western Cape is home to some of the most unique flower species in the world. By planting indigenous, you play a role in preserving our indigenous flora.

I strive to grow more indigenous and endemic plants of our region in our small (homegrown) nursery. The diverse South African flora never ceases to amaze. A garden is a sanctuary, a peaceful place for you to sit in when the sun goes down or a place to enjoy with your family.  It can also be a sanctuary for some of the threatened species of plants and for the fast disappearing wildlife in our area (lizards, frogs, birds and insects, even bats). Bring diversity (life) back to your garden, go indigenous, even just a little. . . . .

You are welcome to contact me for advice or a plant chat – Yvette info@hermitageherbs.co.za

Article sponsor – Hermitage Nursery, growers of indigenous plants, herbs and rare species

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