May 10, 2010

Drought-tolerant Plants without Spring Rain


Yarrow, nepeta, verbena and bronze fennel can handle the drought

I can only guess at the last time we had significant rainfall. It seems as though every chance for even a sprinkle has passed us by for weeks. The folks in neighboring Tennessee had devastating floods while we had very few drops of rain—extreme swings in the weather.

With every year, I try to take note of these weather swings to cull out plants that can't handle it. My garden is too large to deal with plants that require too much attention to thrive. I moisten the soil for the seeds that I've sown this spring and hand-water newly planted perennials. Otherwise, the plants must be water-wise.

That said, the garden looks pretty good. Most of my dividing and rearranging was done in the fall, giving the roots time to establish over the wet winter. Since I don't have drip irrigation in 95 per cent of the outer gardens, the selected plants are drought tolerant.


Established Knock Out® Roses are spectacular with minimal water


Drought-tolerant perennials and annuals are still perky throughout the gardens

Throughout the gardens, the perennials—achillea, agastache, coreopsis, heliotrope, lavender, nepeta, russian sage, salvia, sedum, stachys and verbena are happily flourishing in dry conditions.

Trees and shrubs—such as buddleia, crepe myrtle, hollies and vitex—are going without water.

Annuals—sown from seeds last year—are handling the drought well, too. Cornflowers, larkspur, nigella, poppies and rose campion are blooming and full of buds.

Of course, rain is desperately needed. The soil is far too dry. Although I'm not yet seeing the signs of drooping leaves, the plants cannot continue forever without water. We can only hope for rain. Thank goodness for the drought-tolerant plants that are holding up the garden.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks/copyrights/patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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