Renishaw Hills’ Elsa Pooley shares her top eight winter plants for KwaZulu-Natal gardens

As a mature lifestyle estate developed on an environmentally-conscious ethos, Renishaw Hills boasts some of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast’s most spectacular indigenous gardens. These colourful creations are the result of tireless work by a team of landscapers, among them renowned South African landscaper, Elsa Pooley.

“Indigenous gardens are colourful and interesting throughout the year, changing with the seasons,” explained Elsa. “With indigenous gardening not yet mainstream, many people are still learning about what can actually be done with South African plants.”

Commenting on further benefits of indigenous gardening for all home owners, Elsa said: “Using a varied plant palette, indigenous plants can add vibrant colour to any garden – and privacy where necessary – as well as providing a habitat for garden wildlife. These attract an array of indigenous birds and insects.”

She explained that planting with indigenous florae also means that there is very little need for intervention in terms of watering and maintenance. This makes gardening much more hassle-free for those who don’t have too much time to spend tending to plants, and is incredibly energy-efficient in terms of water use. For those looking to establish their own indigenous gardens as lockdown continues, Elsa has shared her top indigenous plants for KwaZulu-Natal.

Elsa’s top 8 indigenous plants for winter include:

1.  Cotyledon orbiculata Pig’s Ears

2.  Crassula sarmentosa Trailing Jade

3.  Kalanchoe thyrsiflora White Lady (and Kalanchoe longiflora Tugela Kalanchoe and Kalanchoe sexangularis Maroon Kalanchoe)

4.  Kniphofia praecox Red Hot Poker

5.  Kniphofia rooperi Winter Poker

6.  Kleinia fulgens Coral Senecio

7.  Leonotis leonurus Wild Dagga

8.  Senecio barbertonicus Succulent Bush Senecio

For those looking to expand their indigenous planting beyond the winter months, Elsa has also shared her top 5 indigenous plants for anytime of the year include:

1.  Aloes – this is aloe season so there are a number of these succulents in flower.

2.  Pelargonium tongense

3.  Portulacaria afra Spekboom – this can be used both as a shrub and another form as ground cover.

4.  Orthosiphon labiatus or Shell Bush – this is tough, waterwise and gives a burst of pink almost throughout the year for those wanting more colour.

5.  Indigofera jucunda River – this is quick-growing and meets the demands of clay soils and dry winds.

Located in Scottburgh, Renishaw Hills is a true coastal gem which enjoys a sub-tropical year-round climate. This mature lifestyle estate, found within the Mpambanyoni Conservation Development, is committed to indigenous living, as is evidenced by the gardens that accompany every unit.

Phil Barker of Renishaw Property Developments commented: “The incredible natural setting and indigenous vegetation of Renishaw Hills are just some of the many advantages of this iconic space. Residents are able to enjoy ‘living the holiday’ every day in a secure estate that offers the desired balance of a quiet, serene life with sufficient access to modern necessities.”

For more information about the mature lifestyle village, or to book a tour with all relevant health-and-safety measures adhered to, contact Renishaw Hills on or visit