Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Diary - Drought tolerant plants

Drought Tolerant Plants:

Summers ain’t what they used to be in Southern Ontario! Heat and humidity would set in in early July and stay until mid-September. Rainy days were nicely scattered throughout the spring and summer seasons and everything seemed so predictable!
Not so lately! I remember that in the summer of 2000 or 2001, it rained June 30th and then not one drop more until late September!! Yikes! Lawns, flowers, trees and shrubs dried up and withered away. It was pathetic to look at. Water bans were imposed, so even the lucky few with underground sprinkler systems, were not allowed to use them. Most summers since then have had real elements of drought as well.
So, gardeners being the resourceful souls that we are, began to research plants that could withstand drought.
Here are some excellent examples of plants that do well in hot, dry conditions:

Perennials:Alchemilla mollis – Lady’s Mantle
Aquilegia species – Columbines

Bergenia crassifolia
Campanula species
Coreopsis species
Echinops ritro – Globe Thistle
Eryngium species – Sea Holly
Gaillardia species – Blanket Flower
Galium odoratum – Sweet Woodruff

Hemerocallis hybrids – Daylilies

Paeonia species – Peonies
Penstemon species

Perovskia atriplicifolia – Russian Sage
Rudbeckia species – Black-eyed Susan
Sedum species
Veronica species – Speedwell
Vinca minor – Periwinkle

Allium species
Chionodoxa species – Glory in the Snow
Galanthus species – Snowdrops
Lilium species – Lilies
Narcissus species – Daffodils
Tulipa species – Tulips

Annuals:Brachycome iberidifolia – Swan River Daisy
Centaura species – Bachelor’s Buttons

Cleome spinosa – Spider Flower
Cosmos species

Petunia species
Targetes species – Marigolds
Verbena species

Roses and Shrubs:
Amelanchier species – Serviceberry
Cotinus coggygria – Smoke Bush
Cotoneaster species
Euonymus species
Kerria japonica
Philadelphus species – Mock Orange
Prunus species
Rosa species - Old garden types – Rosa x alba, Rosa Gallica

Rugosa roses
Explorer roses ‘John Cabot’, John Davis’, William Baffin’
Spirea species
Syringa species – Lilac

1 comment:

Christopher M said...

With regard to Bergenia (aka Pigsqueak), I have these growing in my zone 5B Wisconsin. I have rich soil, somewhat compact and clayish, but plenty of black matter. I find that Bergenia do not look nice without regular waterings. The foliage looks sooooo much better with a quick watering every day - the leaves perk up and new green growth emerges. Otherwise, I don't care for their look. They were brought to the United States from Siberia if I remember correctly back in the late 1700's, and were often a staple of the mission style home landscaping in California. It was pretty common to see them planted at the base of a fountain, which is exacly where I will be moving mine! The supplemental water will do them some good.

My Lady's Mantle took three years to show me anything worthwhile. I almost gave up on them, but once they established they are beautiful.