The recent drought in the Western Cape highlighted the fact that South African households must start taking drastic steps to mitigate water consumption. The notion has become known as ‘the new normal’.
Apart from taking shorter showers and not topping swimming pools up every day of the week, it is important to take note of the types of plants we grow in our gardens. Banana trees and lush green lawns might seem like the norm, but the fact is that they guzzle up way too much water to be justified. On a side note, maintaining a lawn is a time-consuming affair.
More and more folks are opting for indigenous gardens. By replacing invasive plants and trees with local flora, one is able to cultivate a garden that is eco-friendly, blends in with the environment and very likely requires less maintenance (and saves quite a bit of money in the long run!) than an English or tropical garden.
The question is, where do you begin? Which plants do you choose?
Enter Renu-Karoo Nursery, based in the charming village of Prince Albert.
What does Renu-Karoo Nursery do?
Renu-Karoo Nursery is repairing the damage caused by mining and agricultural activities in the Karoo. This is achieved by cultivating indigenous seeds, Karoo grasses, shrubs, trees, herbs and compost on their Farm Nursery just 1,2 kilometers outside Prince Albert, selling their plants at their Nursery Shop in the village and by providing free environmental education to the local community via the Wolwekraal Conservation and Research Organisation.
Alternatively, they are able to conduct botanical surveys and specialised assessments of ecologically damaged sites, assess veld for grazing capacity, do baseline veld monitoring and offer ecological restoration advice for the Karoo.
Furthermore, they offer professional advice on site preparation, planting time and appropriate plant species and deliver to local farms and construction sites. They also specialise in garden establishment, planting and plant translocation.
How do I know if Karoo plants are right for my garden?
Visitors can pop into the Farm Nursery on weekdays from 09:00 to 17:00, and on weekends from 09:00 to 13:00 for a friendly, informative chat and to get a feel for the types of plants on offer.
Alternatively, or if you’re simply interested in buying a pretty plant or two for your garden, the Nursery Shop is on the corner of Kerk and Van Dyk Streets in Prince Albert. The shop is open from 09:00 to 16:00 from Monday to Saturdays, and also on Sunday mornings.
Visitors who would like to get a feel for what the wild Karoo looks like, can pay a visit to the Wolwekraal Nature Reserve outside Prince Albert for a two-hour guided walk that sheds light on the geological, botanical and cultural history of the area.
For more information about activities and events in and around the village and to book accommodation, visit Prince Albert Tourism’s website at www.princealbert.org.za. Plus, check out Facebook (@PrinceAlbert.WesternCape), Twitter (@prince_albert_tourism) and Instagram (@PrinceAlbertZA).