Consider turning parts of your lawn into a waterwise region of your garden.

Here are some easy ideas for ways to decrease your lawn area and make a more waterwise and environmentally friendly garden
  • Increase the size of beds on the verges – more room for waterwise planting and less irrigating.
  • Turn a front lawn into a French formal garden with gravel paths, a water feature or two, large symmetrical rose gardens and a hidden seating area. This is a surprisingly simple project – lay a geometric grid system of paths, place two large beds at the top, either side of the main path, and for the seating area, use a trellis for privacy.
  • Formalise a play area for your children, with alternative ground coverings, including fake grass or rubber matting. Include a sandpit, a sandy rockery for toy cars to scale, a series of used tyres, painted brightly as swings, and a big blackboard for endless hours of art adventures.
  • Create a large circular patio at minimal cost by using logs cut in slabs and bedded in sand and gravel. As a further project, build a braai pit in the middle, a curved bench and a simple pergola, all circular, for a funky retro look.
  • Consider planting a fruit orchard, if your back garden is big enough. Irrigated efficiently (by means of drip irrigators), trees are very waterwise, and fruit trees provide happy bounty.
  • That veggie garden is a great idea too, but rather than the same old, same old, upscale and consider a potager, a French ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden. In this garden, herbs and edible flowers, as well as ornamental vegetables, are grown in a formal layout that is a design delight, as colourful and chic as it is useful.
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