With rising costs and diminishing natural resources, the days of turning your garden into a lush, tropical jungle are a thing of the past. If you want to save water, succulents are the answer.

Hot, dry summer days, accompanied by ever-growing environmental concerns, as well as the scarcity of water, has seen more and more people opt for indigenous plants and succulents, rather than exotic ferns and plush perennials.

Picture: Cape{town}Etc/ Murray Swart

Many may be concerned that replacing their pretty plants with something a bit more tolerant of South Africa’s scorching summers and drought-stricken days, but a cacophony of cacti is a great substitute for your current kaleidoscope of colour. Waterwise gardening certainly is the way to go.

It’s a great way to turn your garden into a banquet of blossoming beauty on a shoestring budget and can be every bit as rewarding for any home-based horticulturist or gardener who cares about the environment.

Situated on perhaps the world’s longest wine route the R60/R62 just outside of Robertson, in scenic Klaasvoogds West, the gardens at Mo & Rose’s country getaway is a perfect example of what can be done when you substitute those finicky ferns for sensational succulents.

Picture: Cape{town}Etc/ Murray Swart

Nestled at the foot of the Langeberg mountains, visitors can explore the secret garden inhabited by legions of succulents and a collage of cacti.

While some of the towering cacti date back to well over a century, extensive landscaping has taken place in recent years, creating a contemporary showcase, oozing with possibilities.

“As most gardeners know, the type of plants you use will determine how much water your garden will need to flourish.”

“Everyone can agree that the answer to most waterwise gardens is succulents and cacti.”

“Unfortunately, these types of plants often make people think of their grandmother’s chaotic gardens and they tend to shy away but anyone who has been to Mo & Rose would beg to differ.”

Picture: Cape{town}Etc/ Murray Swart

This combination of the old and established, blended with the new and never-say-die,  proves that a water wise garden can offer tasteful tranquility, while remaining both environmentally and economically conscious.

‘’Living in a country where we have gone through some serious droughts has taught many of us to appreciate water by using clever ways to conserve this precious resource,” says senior landscaper for The Organic Emerald, Meagan Klue.

Picture: Cape{town}Etc/ Murray Swart

Klue explains that these resilient plants store their own water, while the thorns help minimise evaporation by limiting the airflow around the cactus. The grooves guide any moisture down to the roots.

“By using their amazing textures and colours in the right combination, you can have a striking, waterwise garden that also has the benefit of being low maintenance.”

Written by Murray Swart for CapeEtc

Featured image: Murray Swart