Mother-in-law's tongue (Sanseveria trifasciata), known also as the snake plant, has long been an indoor and outdoor favourite with its sharp, witty nature. This succulent makes for a striking feature in almost any light condition and is a perfect choice for the beginner gardener.
Getting to know your Mother-in-law's tongue
Grow guide: They will grow faster in bright, natural light but will also fare well in moderate to low light. When planted outdoors, be aware of harsh direct sunlight as this will burn their leaves. Water plants directly onto the soil (avoiding the rosette centre) to prevent root rot.
Claim to fame: Hardy and packed with attitude, their sword-shaped leaves are bold and unapologetic with bright yellow borders from base to tip. Indigenous to SA, these plants are adaptable and easy to care for. You may even be lucky to see their elusive white flowers if you look after them well.
In the garden: This succulent is ideal as a potted attention-grabber, both on the patio and indoors. They will also fill large beds where they bring in height (up to 60cm) and texture. Plant them in rich soil with excellent drainage. Water infrequently and avoid frost-prone areas.
Pest patrol: Plants are generally low-maintenance and not prone to pests. Keep an eye out, however, for mealybugs and spider mites and ensure roots are never waterlogged. Feed with a balanced cactus fertiliser monthly during spring and summer to increase pest resistance.
Did you know? Snake plants are known as CAM plants, which means they can remove carbon from the air at night and store it for later use.
Top tip: Dull leaf colours and thin foliage may indicate that your plant is not receiving enough light, whereas crispy, yellowing foliage is a sign that there is too much light or sun.
If you’re looking to change up your current garden style to a sleek and trendy look, minimalism may be a perfect fit for you. The minimalistic garden reduces maintenance time, water usage, and clutter. Moreover, sleek lines and open spaces help bring calm vibes to the busy city mind. Here is all you need to know to get you started.
“Current trends in architecture and interior décor are uncluttered simplicity, with clean lines, open spaces and natural, contrasting and complimenting materials. The minimalist approach to gardening will support and enhance what has been started by the architect and interior decorator.” - Hingham Nursery
What is minimalism and how can you achieve this look?
The minimalistic concept is all about simplicity and highlighting strong features with a defined purpose in the space. The goal is to have less, which then creates a feeling of increased spaciousness and order. The minimalistic garden tells the story of a space with a well-thought-out theme that is extended and complemented by colour accents, textures, shapes, and lines throughout the garden.
- Less is more: rather go for one big pot than multiple smaller ones. Use understated design elements and a neutral colour pallet. Limit the materials used in the space and keep the area neat, tidy, and almost at the bare minimum.
- Contrast adds interest: look for contrasts in texture and colour, whether it be shades of green or just green with a hint of a second colour here and there. Bold leaves contrasted against finely-textured plants are a perfect combo. In addition, including a body of water or water feature creates movement and brings even more calm to the overall landscape.
- Size matters: instead of many small pavers and stepping stones, go for large elements in strong shapes. Big square pavers will fill up a space nicely while creating bold lines and the feeling of spaciousness.
July’s Topic: Sleek minimalism
Theme: Less is more
Industry Expert: Julie Scragg
Garden Centre: Hingham Nursery based in Durban North www.hinghamnursery.co.za
Hingham Nursery is stocked with all your minimalistic gardening needs – from stylish plants to sleek décor accessories and planters. If you’re in the Durban North area, be sure to pay them a visit. You can access our nationwide GCA Garden Centre locator here to find your next award-winning shopping experience: https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/category/garden-centres/
1. Please tell us how Hingham Nursery came to be and what inspired your personal gardening journey?
Gardening and creativity is in our blood - from the rose that my great-great-grandmother brought here from England on board a ship in 1863, to my mother who started Higham Nursery from scratch, propagating all her own plants and laying out the nursery with inspiring landscape features.
2. For our gardeners who are totally new to this style of gardening, please tell us what modern minimalistic landscaping/gardening is AND what makes it different/special to other styles of gardening?
Here are some key points to consider:
- Simplicity is key
- Less is more
- Small plant palette with a lot of repetition
- Geometric shapes
- Clean lines
- Open spaces and large swathes of planting with dramatic accents.
Current trends in architecture and interior décor are uncluttered simplicity, with clean lines, open spaces and natural, contrasting and complimenting materials. The minimalist approach to gardening will support and enhance what has been started by the architect and interior decorator.
In a fast-paced world, minimalism calms the mind and works well for busy people who prefer not to have to make any more decisions than they have to.
3. Please give us your top minimalistic gardening go-to practices. What’s your secret recipe for easily achieving this look?
- Less is more so rather one big pot than 3 small ones.