06 Dec Domestic vs Industrial Type Planting
Because of the mix of uses on the Estate there are places that are common ground that have a domestic small scale feel to the plantings. Then on the other end of the scale are domestic gardens trying to become larger scale than suite the conditions. For example beds of single species are best used for visual effect around the hotel and road entrances but “detailed many species plantings” are better suited to the residential gardens where more attention to detail and care can be given by the resident and the garden maintenance team.
What I call the more visible “visitor” gardens like at car parking areas, reception area to a hotel and other high human use areas need to be simplified with a set of suitable plants that suit the adjoining area. Tough plants at a car park because humans always like taking short cuts to get to where they are going, means plants that can take some trampling plus make paths for the humans to use rather than pushing through a plant bed.
The domestic plantings tend to be a simple palette that has very little soul due to the use of the same 10-20 species. This was the general situation at Zimbali where owners and their landscape contractors tended to use species that the Bushbuck do not browse. This causes a knock on effect due to more homes being built the potential habitat decreases so forcing the same number of antelope to feed on less plant material but with less palatable species being planted the buck have less choice and now the animals are really hammering the vegetation to the point where animals are being removing to reduce the population density.
Due to this trend ZEMA has now instituted a policy that 75 species of plants must be planted as a minimum “yard stick” number of species used for any new garden design.