Water-wise gardening: The role of landscape and horticultural organisations
South Africa’s water resource is currently under distress as it is unable to meet the demands of its population as we see people running short of drinking water and cooking water among many needs. This situation affects people garden owners and lovers and retail and whole sale businesses within the horticulture landscape industry. Watering of plants can also contribute to large amounts of water use and wastage, so how garden owner’s landscape and horticultural organisations contribute towards reliving pressure off our water resource?
I think garden owners need platforms which will create and emphasize the importance of water wise gardening. Just the other day I realised that even with the current situation that we find ourselves in (water scarcity) some people are still not following the water wise tips of watering their lawns at a certain time of the day and also watering their pavement’ s instead of sweeping among many other bad practices by members of my community. This made me think, what roles can our landscape and horticultural businesses play with this regard? Maybe government may need to introduce laws restricting breeding and selling of exotic plants? Horticultural businesses may need to consider breeding, selling and promoting only indigenous species that require less water to survive. The role would be also to promote plants indigenous to our country through various horticultural plant propagation bodies and landscape companies. Landscaping companies also have a role to play as it would be there duty to sell a product (landscape design) that is considerate of the country’s water situation. Design and implement a water-wise garden and also inform your clients of times to water their gardens, this is of utmost importance. How many times have your neighbours watering their gardens at mid-day during the summer? How many times have you seen your neighbours leaving their irrigations systems on for too long? How many exotic plants have you seen at your neighbour, relatives or friends house? These situations all play a part in unnecessary usage of our water.
In conclusion my experience made me think a little and to ask myself questions from which possible solutions came about. I really think the gardening community needs to promote indigenous vegetation and replace the exotic options purely based on the water requirements of some plants. Again, I think that various stake holder’s needs to make as many people aware of their wastage of water through gardening. This involves, government, various landscape and horticultural businesses and of course the gardener themselves.