Tips for Designing a Drought Tolerant Garden:
• Whether your soil is sandy or clay adding generous amounts of compost yearly will help the soil to better retain moisture.
• Mulch your beds and borders to help hold the moisture in.
• Slow down wind velocities on your property by planting hedges and erecting fences to help reduce wind-related soil drying.
• Water infrequently but deeply. Once your plants are well established allow the top 2” to 3” of soil to dry out before watering. It is important to let the surface soils dry out to stress the plants slightly so that they respond by growing deep roots.
• Choose drought tolerant plants. These plants are usually characterized as having root systems that can grow deeply into the soil to 'mine' for moisture during periods of drought.
• thick fleshy stems and leaves like succulents and cactus
• waxy coated leaves
• densely hairy leaves
• silvery, grayish or bluish foliage
• narrow leaves
• prickly leaves
There are many wonderful drought tolerant plants to choose from. Some of my favourites include:
Grasses: Blue fescue, Maiden grass, Reed grass (Karl Foerster)
Bushes and Shrubs: Blue Beard, Boxwood, Cotoneaster, Winged Euonymus (burning bush), Beauty bush, Barberry, Weeping Carigana, Double flowering plum, Potentilla, Yew, Junipers, Quince, Euonymus, Lilacs, Pin Cherry, Chinese abelia, Butterfly-bush, Redosier dogwood, Rugosa rose, Bridalwreath spirea, Scarlet firethorne
Herbs: Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Garden Sage, Savoury, Thyme
Perennials: Sedum (Autumn joy), Coreopsis (Moon Beam), Purple Coneflower, Lavender, Gaillardia, Yucca, Peony, Dianthus (pinks), Artemisia, Phlox, Achillea (Yarrow), Liatrus, Periwinkle, Butterfly Weed, Lamb’s Ears, Globe Thistle, Sea Holly (Eryngium), Hens and Chicks (Sempervivums) , Columbine, Day Lilies, Bearded Iris, Daisies, Salvia (many varieties), Russian Sage, Catnip, Day Lilies,
Annuals: Dusty Miller, Begonia (wax leaf), Calendula, Cosmos, Dianthus, Cleome, Geranium, Purple Fountain Grass, Marigold, Lantana, Gazania, Sweet Alyssum, Zinnia, Verbena, Amaranth
Note: Many of the above mentioned plants, although drought tolerant to various degrees will perform at their best in a moister environment.
|Sedum 'Autumn Joy'|
|Burning Bush (Winged Euonymus)|
|Hens and Chicks|