Ecosystems Management

  Creating and managing urban wildlife habitat


  Nature conservation starts at your own front door

  indigenous landscape garden design specialist consultant ecoman durban

Grassland Landscape Simbithi Eco-Estate

Date:   September 2012
Brief:   The brief from the client in line with the Simbithi Eco-Estate design philosophy was to establish a functional climax grassland landscape with the addition of groups of Aloe ferox to create a decorative element.

indigenous landscape garden simbithi eco-estate
Photograph taken Simbithi eco-estate on the 10 october 2012 during establishment of the grass which was planted by means of seed

Aloe ferox indigenous landscape garden simbithi eco-estate

Close up of Aloe ferox planted at Simbithi Eco-Estate

Grasslands are one of the most threatened habitats in this region due to their near total destruction to make way for sugar farming in the late 1800`s. The properties that has been developed as Simbithi Eco-Estate would have originally been primarily grassland with patches of coastal forest and swamp forest in the wet valleys before they were eradicated to plant sugar cane.

This project has very closely followed the Simbithi Eco-Estate design philosophy which on it`s website makes the following statements.

  1. This led to a conversion of an ecological desert (previously cane lands) into an abundant coastal climax grassland community
  2. ± 65Ha of the old cane areas are being converted to coastal climax grassland communities which have a wide biotic diversity.
  3. A cocktail of indigenous grasses and grassland type plants have been sown over a period of 24 months to hasten ecological succession and enable the incorporation of suitable wildlife.
  4. The design implemented in the private space of your stand, really becomes an extension of the natural habitat of the wildlife.
  5. The landscape designs for the developments inside Simbithi Eco-Estate need to be conscious of the nature of the natural vegetation surrounding their development and link the garden to the surrounding environment.
  6. Landscape designs must be as natural as possible in their approach but still provide ornamental elements and creative design in close quarters to the development to complement the design of the house. 
  7. 'Indigenous' plants from other provinces and other geographical areas are not to be used in an attempt to create as natural an environment as possible. 
  8. The designs need to be creative but not conventional.
The Landscape Design Protocol make statements such as to re-create what would have occured before the introduction of sugar cane on the property.

This project which most probably follows the guidelines of the Simbithi Eco-Estate design philosophy guidlines more closely than any other on the estate is proving to be very successful although it has been a challenge in that the grass plants and the grass seed required to make it a success is largely unobtainable commercially so I have had to collect most of the grass seed that has been used.

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This page was created on 10.10.12
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