Landscaping with drip irrigation


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Landscaping with drip irrigation

Whether you are landscaping a commercial area, a residential garden, or a nooky patio - it is important to have a clear plan. You have to know what the landscape will finally look like so that you can work towards that result in stages. Not all plants will grow at the same pace, nor to the same heights and fullness, so selection is a careful process to begin with.

Small spaces

Selecting a theme for your garden is always fun. It can be very simple, but a theme gives you an idea of layout, plant type, growth patterns and colours. You can add a feature such as a fountain, pond or walkway, and plan your design around this. Don’t let limited space overwhelm you, choose plants for growth and blending attributes. 

When designing your small garden keep the following in mind:

  • Try to connect your outdoor space with your indoor décor, creating a sense of through-flow and greater space. 
  • Choose fewer plants and remember growth space, crowded plants will look untidy and squashed, requiring a lot of cutback.
  • To create volume, plant several of the same plants in one bed. This will allow you to fill space and create continuity. 
  • Choose plants that may serve more than one purpose: to cover something unsightly, a good flowerer, or an enchanting scent in the garden.
  • If there is a fight for space, go vertical. Changes in level lead the eye and offer a point of interest against a wall. You could lead a creeper over a divider such as a wooden trellis, keeping small areas separate but interesting and varied. 
  • Where there are intruding walls and corners, choose a plant that grows horizontally, rather than vertically. This broadens the look of the garden, and gives a sense of spaciousness.
  • Colours lead the eye, so take great care with leave and blossom selections. Gradual colour changes also creates a sense of distance. A couple of strategically placed lights in the garden could further offer nuance and shadow at night, adding mystery in secret pockets of darkness, a pattern that  creates the feeling that there is more to explore. 
  • Create dramatic contrasts for attention and intrigue: size, shape, colour and texture. The growth of diversity gives a small space the aura of being bigger and able to cope with a greater number of plants. Beware of overcrowding, the effect has to be subtly designed.
  • Smaller spaces provide a sense of intimacy, they are more personal and easier to imbue with character.

 In a restricted place, work with your elements such as wall-hung pots, mirrors, water features and artwork to ensure practicality, but remember you are working to create an illusion of space, so don’t overdo things. Make your small area a place of both relaxation and entertainment; a place to meditate and a place where you can host a small number of guests.

Large spaces

Large spaces, such as commercial and industrial surroundings, as well as residential complexes, can present as much of a challenge as smaller spaces. You have to create a seamless flow for the eye, creating beauty and invitation with a sense of spacious line and form.

When designing your small garden keep the following in mind:

  • Break the spaces up with different rooms of foliage. At the same time, ensure that all of these areas are linked. Unify spaces with signs, benches, water features, a line of trees, or continuous pathways and borders.
  • Beware of endless large stretches of lawn – add elements of interest such as a rose garden, palm trees, or a gazebo. Separate areas with themes such as a Karoo garden, a shadowed area, statues, fountains, ponds, bridges, archways, a meditation garden, and areas where people can sit and enjoy the garden as a whole.
  • Choose whether you want to refine the space into digestible chunks, or whether you want to present it as one large space. 

Landscaping a larger area should add a sense of nature and freedom and peacefulness, together with environmental care.

The essential drip

Whatever the garden design, you will need water. Knowing how precious this resource is, you have to equip yourself with knowledge about drip irrigation technology. This will not only bring your garden to life, but will also sustain your plants throughout every growth phase. This will keep your garden water-wise and economic. 

Netafim offers a comprehensive range of drip irrigation solutions for everything from commercial lawns to smaller garden bed areas. Drip irrigation delivers water and nutrients directly to the root zone of the plants. It can operate sub-mulch in garden beds to ensure every drop of water goes where it was intended. Drip irrigations allows you to grow more with less, by preventing water loss or unnecessary application.

More than water savings

Drip irrigation not only saves water, it also:

  • Maintains healthy, lush and rapid growth
  • Eliminates vandalism as the system is out of sight.
  • Allows you to apply fertiliser in a soluble form directly to the plant root zone.
  • Reduces operational and maintenance costs – in both large and small areas.
  • Saves time. Irrigation can be automated and no longer needs to be a time-consuming chore.


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