How to develop a low-maintenance water-wise garden

Posted On Friday, 07 October 2016 02:20 Published by
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A well-kept eco-friendly garden can add value to your home.


First impressions are important, especially when it comes to selling property, with most property purchase decisions are made within the first few minutes of viewing. The first thing prospective buyers see, before the kitchen, bedrooms or bathrooms, is the exterior and the garden.

This is according to Jason Shaw, national sales executive at Pam Golding Properties. “The exterior look and feel of a home is usually a good indication of the property as a whole. By having a beautiful, well-kept garden, you will likely increase your chances of selling your property and improve its value.”

“Creating and tending to a garden takes time and energy, however. If you work long hours, it can be difficult to give it the necessary attention it needs or even adequately care for your pot plants,” he adds.

“While expense may preclude many property owners to be able to immediately make their gardens more sustainable and eco-friendly, we can consider adjusting the way we garden in order to make it lower-maintenance and less water intensive. The latter is particular important given the current water restrictions that are being experienced across much of the country.” 

“Remember that the people viewing your home might not have the time and energy it requires to take care of a lush garden either, so you may well be doing them a favour by creating a low maintenance garden. In addition, modern, clean and compact gardens are becoming increasingly trendy.” 

“Many property owners view the areas outside their boundary walls as being of lesser importance,” says Shaw. “While it is understandable that people choose to devote most of their attention to those parts of the garden in which they spend time, these external areas make a positive first impression on potential home buyers and can enhance the appeal of a property and the neighbourhood.”

Pam Golding Properties has the following tips to assist you in restructuring your garden to minimise maintenance and water use.

Laying out your garden

Take time to observe the sun’s location in your garden at various times throughout the day. Identify where the sun is between 11:00 and 15:00, which is the hottest time of the day. Water will evaporate the fastest in these areas due to the high exposure to heat, which will result in unnecessarily high water use. For a low maintenance and water wise garden, you could consider avoiding planting in areas that receive a great deal of direct sunshine or consider using only very hardy plants. 

You might also elect to rather use such spaces to create a paved entertainment and braai area. You can artificially shade the area with a stylish outdoor umbrella or patio roof.  If you want to add greenery, try to use succulents, cacti or indigenous grasses that can endure hot and dry conditions. 

Reduce the size of your lawn

Not only will you spend most of your Saturdays mowing it, a lawn requires lots of water. Instead, consider replacing part of your lawn with stepping-stones or decorative pebbles. You can add greenery in between the stones by making use of indigenous grasses, succulents or ground covers. 


Last modified on Friday, 07 October 2016 15:24

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