La Lucia Ridge, Umhlanga
Our garden started as cleared sugarcane land and we moved in with absolutely nothing in the garden. Twenty-one years later we have a small bit of coastal forest that has taken over our space and gives us huge delight because of the birds and other creatures that benefit from it.
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History & Development
It was just over 20 years ago that we bought off-plan and moved into our present home having been given the opportunity to make some changes to the design. The site had been under sugar cane for decades and we were told that land that had been under cane would not support any other type of vegetation. We duly ignored the prophets of doom and set forth to transform the barren landscape. With the agreement of the trustees we actually planted trees and shrubs (obviously indigenous) along the lower bank of the complex and also created a corridor between the two units in the space right opposite our own.
Then our garden which included plantings of Halleria lucida, Erythrina lysistemon and caffra, Strelitzia nicolai and an Albizia adianthifolia (flat crown) all of which are major bird attractants and provide the strong vertical architecture of the garden. Bird droppings have brought in a Macaranga and several Trema orientalis (pigeonwood) over time.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and our garden bird species count is now at 115, not bad for a 600 square metre plot which includes the house.
click on the photos in the album below to scroll through larger view images – all photos N. Forbes