Fynbos restoration and rain garden design

The Six Kingdoms Ecological Design team recently did some work on a unique site near Plettenberg bay.

The site borders a Critically Biodiverse Area (CBA) and is part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor, a unique stretch of coast with rugged cliffs covered with rare fynbos.  The property is in the process of regenerating after a voracious wild fire swept through it in 2017. The flora is still pioneering, the coastal fynbos is low and the wind still whips across the open landscape. 

The site required a few different interventions to meet the design vision of the client, with a focus on sustainable water management, endemic vegetation restoration and increased privacy. 

We planted up a screen to hide a fence, built and planted up a rock retaining wall to stabilise a steep slope around the house, installed a large french drain and connected rainwaters and  designed a large fynbos garden that will slowly be filled in by the owner. 

Our rain gardens collect excess runoff from the roof and paving and allow it to slowly percolate into the groundwater table. This reduces flood damage and erosion, increases soil moisture content, and creates a unique niche for specific plants and animals that would otherwise be hard to grow on the site. 

For all the garden areas we chose plants that only exist there already (or will exist in the future according to the succession of the flora type), respecting the diversity that’s endemic to the area while safeguarding it from unintended invaders.  These endemic plants are also particularly well suited to the harshness of the site and have done well there in the months since planting. 

We’re looking forward to adding slowly to this design, but here are some recent progress pictures in the meantime