‘Creating a succulent garden came about quite by accident really,’ says homeowner and passionate gardener Wendy Floquet of her 800 square metre succulent garden. One of the many rooms within her 2.4 hectare outdoor space in the Constantia Winelands. ‘Cacti, succulents and aloes have an abundant variety of shape, texture and colour and make for wonderfully dramatic planting combinations. There are varieties suited to almost every application, with the added bonus of being drought-tolerant, low-maintenance and attracting a large number of sunbirds,’ says Wendy.
‘My garden is my happy place, somewhere to draw breath’ Wendy Floquet
She divulges her personal approach to creating and maintaining a masterful cacti garden brimming with year-round interest.
1. Select a sunny, open area that is relatively protected from the harsh winds – tall aloes and cacti can easily break off in strong winds
2. Plant in sandy, well-draining soil
3. Add silica sand to heavier soils to increase drainage
4. Do not irrigate and do not mulch
5. Dead-head spent flowers and remove fallen leaves and soil with a long-handled artist’s paintbrush – it will allow you to easily reach between the closely packed leaves and spikes of the plants
6. Prune back plants from encroaching on each other – succulents multiply and spread surprisingly fast
Photography Elsa Young