Creating the main berm in the Sunbird Aloes Demonstration Garden

Updated: Mar 3

The Garden was first established in the 1960’s a lot of very old mature trees, Agapanthus and Mondo grass. However there were a lot of dead, diseased and dying trees and plants. Two weeks later, a lot of sweat and tears, and I could see the backbone of the garden again. Here in the valley the temperatures can get up into the 50C range around Christmas time. So I had to change the way I gardened, no more cold-climate plants.


With very little water from the broken farm irrigation, I choose to work with Mother Nature, rather than against her. Indigenous aloes with a variety of succulents and grasses, even then the soaring high temperatures proved to be a problem for modern grasses and the hardest of succulents.


2017 and back to the drawing board, the grass around the swimming pool was removed and 20 of the first Sunbird Aloes were planted. Agapanthus was split to allow it to flower again, berms were created on the steep banks (that I had to try and mower 1:20).


June 2017 – Starting of the planting and general layout.


Four trailer loads of stones were gleaned from the farm and used in the garden, footpaths were created.Sunbird Aloes produced myself were nestled into their new homes.My neighbour and Landscaper – Kerry Wafer, gave me her valuable insight into the planting plan.And I began the task hard landscaping by myself, as a perfectionist, only I could do it the way I wanted it.


My mother-in-law Phyllis or Gogo as we all call her supervised the establishment of the 12 meter berm at the back of the swimming pool. My sister-in-law whom also visiting rolled up her sleeves to help create the main berm.

2018 - 1st year after establishment.




After 4 years the berm was mature: planted in a confetti mix of different colours of aloes at different flowering times of the year.


Show casing the Aloes, architectural shape and form, with flowers for all year round.

Combinations: of Aeonium, Crassula Echeveria, Euphorbia, Gasteria, Graptopetalum Stonecrops, and Mother-in-law Tounge, planted in and around the berm to create different colours and interest.








These pictures were taken four years after planting. You can see how quickly this berm has matured and filled out. Only five of the succulents were purchased for this project, all other plants were grown by me.






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