South African west coast vegetation is often reduced to minimalistic levels by wind, drought and the sun. Lowly creeping plants, mostly in the Mesembryanthemaceae but also the Crassulaceae and a few other families manage ground covering patches in a range of leaf colours.
Some of these plants are pioneers preparing the soil and other conditions for more and softer species to get a roothold. Ambition can’t run away with them here though, as the tough climatic conditions keep a lid on proceedings. Bigger plants may join but will be stunted, looked down upon by their counterparts in deeper soil further from the sea.
The taller plant in picture is (mainly) Asparagus capensis, a hardened soldier of several vegetation frontiers. Its height and density bring more possibilities for other species, some animals and birds to diversify the micro-ecology, a community service like what a new beachfront hotel presents in a rural location.