Brand New Garden

  • Tara
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9 years 6 months ago #8219 by Tara
Tara created the topic: Brand New Garden
Hi All,
I am new to this forum and would be thrilled to get some advice from everyone.
I have recently moved into a new cottage on a farm outside Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. The garden, with the exception of a huge orange tree, is pretty much non-existent! However, it is surrounded by areas of natural bush, and a few pineapple fields.
I have derived many happy hours watching the antics of the birds in my tiny suburban garden and I am looking forward to attracting more birds to this new, and bigger one! I would appreciate any tips and pointers as well as suggestions of specific plants. We do not have a huge amount of water available for watering and I would prefer indigenous plants where ever possible.
I'm a complete newbie when it comes to gardening so even the most basic advice is welcome!

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  • gordon
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9 years 6 months ago #8228 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Hi Tara,

Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like a fantastic opportunity to shape your new garden exactly as you would like!

I would personally go with indigenous plants, focusing on those that would attract the species from the area. You should have a look at your distribution maps in the guides for which species are likely to occur in your area, decide which species you would like to attract to the garden, then do some reading up on what kinds of food (or nesting habitat) would attract those species. Roberts VII is a good place to start. Once you know what they eat, you can start planning what kind of garden you are going to encourage. A lot of birds can be quite specific when choosing their food, so you would need to find local plants with the necessary requirements to attract your chosen species.

This exercise of learning which habitat each bird prefers is one of the most important methods of finding certain birds. You can be driving along with your new found knowledge see a certain habitat and you just know that the likelyhood of some particular species is much higher there than anywhere else...

Good luck with the planning!


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  • JGB
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9 years 6 months ago #8241 by JGB
JGB replied the topic:
There is a rather good book on the subject titled "Attracting Birds to Your Garden in Southern Africa" by Roy Tredler & Lex Hes, that covers various plants and other ways to attract birds.

I think in that area, aloes would be a good idea and they would attarct sunbirds ad other nectar feeders.


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3 years 3 months ago #87096 by billbrooks
billbrooks replied the topic: Re: Brand New Garden
a little late to add this, but the following plants and trees attract birds:

Wild fushcia, natal plum, cape myrtle, red hot pokers, cape honeysuckle, canary creeper (for wall),white karee tree, olive trees, fig trees, wild plum, cape chestnut, pompon tree, karee, dogwood, Wild fig tree.

If you aren't completely finished with your garden, I would suggest getting a wetland area to attract things like kingfishers and bishops, these plants work well for that:
cape pondweed, orange river lily, broom reed, bulrush banded tilapia fish, papyrus plant

another important part of your garden should be the grassland area, I suggest these grasses:
aptenia, cape weed, silver arcotis, purple sour fig, red ice plant, silver carpet, love grass, gazania, vygie, yellow lobelia, daisy lawn, guinea lawn.

don't forget to make an area with a sand bath for birds to clean out their feathers with.

These are the plans for when I'm older, when I have my own garden. Till then, I hope everyone here takes my advice, and makes the perfect dream garden that I one day, hope to have!

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