Coping with a Coastal Garden

“Don’t fight nature – because you will be losing.” This sage advice comes from horticulturist Tessa de Wet of Plants on 6th Avenue in Melkbosstrand. A local, she knows that resistance is futile. Rather go with the flow. Translated, this means that gardeners should respect their environment.

A beautiful coastal garden at Plants on 6th Avenue in Melkbosstrand.

A beautiful coastal garden at Plants on 6th Avenue in Melkbosstrand.

“Look at which biome you’re in,” urges de Wet. “We’re in the Strandveld. So, use plants that are indigenous and endemic. Check out Blouberg Nature Reserve to see what’s growing there.” This is precisely what happens at Atlantic Beach Golf Estate, where homeowners are given a list of plants which they are allowed to cultivate. Horticultural Nazis? Nope. Rather water wise and soil wise. Plants on 6th Avenue stock these plants and have identified them with round green stickers marked AB, for easy recognition.

Keep in mind
Planting in autumn is “one of the best times of the year to plant as opposed to spring. Winter is much kinder than summer,” advises De Wet. Melkbosstrand is built on coastal sand dunes. “You have to add a lot of compost. It is a continuous process. You have to do it every time you plant something or as often as you can afford to.” If you do that, your lovely garden will become a reality, as will a vegetable garden.

List of  some of our indigenous plants
White Pear
False Olive
Cape Saffron
Cape Ash
Cape Holly
Wild Peach
Coastal Red Milkwood
Wild Olive
Wild Camphor Bush
Natal Mahogany
Shepherd’s Delight
Pink Blossom Tree
Bush Violet
Pride of De Kaap
Coastal Cabbage
Honey Tea
Rhenoster Bush
Wild Rosemary
Wild Broom
Blue Sage

Contact details for Plants on 6th Nursery, Melkbosstrand:  021 553 1230 or email



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