Dealing with drought……
If our Summers are going to continue to be like that of 2022, with long dry spells and hot weather, then many gardeners in the UK are going to have to rethink their planting schemes. Traditionally our gardens have been lush and full of green and we think of gardens in hot dry areas as possibly lacking in colour and interest. However, this is very much not the case, and there is a wonderful range of drought tolerant plants that you can grow that will still give you a fantastic looking garden. Many of these plants are ones you will already be familiar with, so you don’t even have to worry about half hardy species from more temperate and tropical climates. Here’s a few suggestions you might like to consider:
1. Bearded Iris – All of these, no matter which variety, are plants for hot, dry areas. Plant them with the rhizome surfaces showing and facing the sun and keep them clear of weeds.
2. Gaura – A bushy perennial plant with slender stems bearing small lance-shaped leaves and a mass of starry white or pink-tinged flowers in loose drifts in summer and autumn.
3. Convolvulus – Native to the Mediterranean, Convolvulus has soft, silvery foliage year-round. White trumpet-shaped flowers with a yellow center appear from spring to the middle of summer.It is very tolerant of dry conditions and would work perfectly in a dry garden setting.
4. Cistus – Otherwise known as Rock Rose, these evergreen shrubs are one of the best drought tolerant plants. They have a succession of pretty, tissue paper flowers, each one lasting for just a day. There are loads of varieties to choose from – so something to please everyone.
5. Agapanthus – Native to South Africa, these herbaceous perennials, will come back year after year. Despite looking exotic they are as tough as old boots. The perfect plant to leave when you go away on holiday – they will still be flowering when you get back.
6. Erigeron – also known as Mexican daisy, is one of those drought resistant plants which will grow from the crack in a pavement, or defy gravity by clustering over your garden wall. Placed in a pot, planted as a border edging, or in gravel, it provides a fountain of flowers from late spring to mid-fall. It will die back in winter, only to emerge the next season.
Why not start with some of these well know plants and see how drought tolerant they can be – you will be surprised!