The art of landscaping is constantly evolving with the times, and, in South Africa in particular, there is not just a necessity for landscaping design to stay on trend with aesthetic considerations, but to incorporate practical, water-wise solutions.
So, in order to keep you in the know on the contemporary landscaping landscape, we’re looking at the top 3 trends for both residential and commercial spaces.
Lose the large lawn
There’s no doubt that our water crisis, felt most heavily in Cape Town, has led to a revolution of water-consciousness, and this is perhaps the most influential factor across the landscaping sphere. Large, rolling lawns may be wonderful to behold, but from a practical standpoint they can be a nightmare! The cost of maintaining a lawn year-round, and the water requirements thereof are simply not responsible in our current crisis. Homes and businesses are reducing their lawns and replacing them with synthetic turf or veld gardens, which are far more sustainable.
Get water-wise (Xeriscaping)
Xeriscaping or water-wise gardening is on-trend not just in South Africa, but across the globe as the need for saving water has become more necessary than ever. Replacing your outrageous rose garden with a succulent garden may not appeal to some aesthetes out there, but our indigenous succulents can be equally beautiful and colourful, they require far less maintenance (read: water!), and will stay lush and green year-round, no matter how little rain they receive.
Get more from your garden
The garden is no longer just a space to stare out into whilst sipping your morning coffee, it’s a multi-functional area for all manner of activities. Many homes have traditionally incorporated tennis courts and kids’ play areas, but a surge in outdoor gyms, mini-soccer pitches, outdoor kitchens (we’re not just limited to braais anymore!), and even outdoor offices spaces, have seen the garden become a truly hard-working member of the household.
Although the prevalence of green surfaces (think green walls and roofs) has been on the rise overseas for quite some time, we’re finally starting to catch up in SA. Vertical gardens on both interior and exterior walls aren’t just gorgeous to look at, they’re highly effective at reducing noise, light and air pollution. Green roofs on the other hand have been found to increase insulation and reduce radiation. Beauty and brains are driving this trend.
Beautifying public spaces
Corporates are taking a vested interest in greening not just their immediate vicinity (think office gardens, green parking spaces and scenic walkways), but they are looking to tidy up and install hardy, indigenous plant species in many public spaces along roadsides, near public footpaths and so on, as well as sponsoring and maintaining public parks and other outdoor facilities.
Essential office gardens.
The concept of an office garden, whether on the grounds, the roof or even inside the building, is certainly not something new. But of late many businesses are coming to realise that plants and natural spaces aren’t just attractive areas to relax in between shifts, they are essential areas to help employees reduce stress, enhance productivity and maintain their overall mental and physical wellbeing.