Indigenous garden colour ideas


Indigenous and fynbos

Close-up of purple osteospermum flower with yellow centres against blurred green leaves in the background.

The abundance of spring can be seen on the slopes, in fields and in our gardens in South Africa. The countryside is awash with pink proteas, yellow gladioli and mauve sutera on hillsides, carmine dierama and yellow daisies in grasslands, gold gazania and purple vygies on rocky ground, and fiery kniphofia and white arums in vleis, while orange clivia and indigo streptocarpus carpet forest floors.

Bring this bright colour into the garden with a joyful range of spring annuals, perennials and bulbs (found at your nearest Stodels Garden Centre) in borders, on banks, and in rockery pockets and containers. Our garden experts have a few bright ideas to add colour to your spring garden with indigenous flowering plants:

  1. Fill bigger gaps with indigenous flowering trees. Pretty trees to colour your spring garden include the tree wisteria (Bolusanthus speciosus) which grows to a height and spread of 4–7m and has a slender form and slightly weeping branches, with mauve pea-shaped flower trusses. The purple broom (Polygala myrtifolia) has beautiful clusters of mauve flowers and can be grown as a small tree or shrub, as it reaches a height of only 2m.
  2. Play with scent as well as colour. It is not only the colours of spring that delight, but also the scents found in the butterfly bush (Buddleja auriculata) and the creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers of September bells (Rothmannia globosa).
  3. Brighten up a water-wise rockery. Orange-red kalanchoe, gerbera and ursinia in sparkling orange, and the glistening flowers of magenta mesembryanthemum all thrive on rockeries. 
  4. Plant every angle with colour. A sunny slope is ideal for aloe, lion’s ear (Leonotis leonurus), plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), protea and leucospermum. Even a slight slope is perfect for arctotis, felicia, gazania and mesembryanthemum, which need good drainage.
  5. Decorate stairways, windows and terraces with bright pot plants. Emphasise a flight of steps with pots of showy pelargonium zonale. Place a pot or two in empty spaces in the border, or combine them with their scented-leaf relatives. Ivy-leafed geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) with shiny foliage and flowers in pink, red, amethyst, purple, salmon and yellow will burst into life if planted in window boxes and hanging baskets. 
  6. Plant in blocks of colour. Compact plants such as Cape daisies, vygies and nemesia look spectacular when planted in clumps of colour. The colours of gazanias include cream, lemon, gold, bronze, russet and maroon-red. Many are bicoloured; whilst others display a contrasting colour around the central disc. The ursinia’s daisy-like flowers come in shades of yellow and orange with red and black centres.
  7. Give your shady areas the colourful treatment as well. The dusty-pink forest lily (Veltheimia bracteata), bush lily (Clivia miniata) with trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of orange and yellow, and Clivia nobilis with pendulous dark orange flowers and green tips will colour shady areas in your spring garden. The forest bell bush (Mackaya bella) is a dense shrub with glossy green leaves and bell-shaped white flowers with mauve veins that thrives in semi-shade.

Looking for something specific? Book one of our garden experts for a consultation to discuss design ideas unique to your space and style. 

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