Hosepipe bans and talk of drought conditions turns gardeners minds to plants that can still thrive in those circumstances. I have suggested several types of plant to consider in the lists below.
Mediterranean Originated Herbs and Oil Producers
- Lavender has pungent foliage and makes a scented oil. The dried flowers retain scent indoors.
- Rosemary and Thyme are both herbs that will survive hot dry conditions. The sun even makes the flavour stronger.
- Oregano or Origanum laevigatum is blooming fine in my herb bed. The deep pink flowers are a bonus to the aromatic leaves.
- Other aromatics that will do well in dry conditions include Sage and Achillea.
Silver Leaved (sun reflecting) Plants
- Pinks and carnations have fine thin leaves so they do not desiccate easily.
- Santolina with fluffy yellow pompom flowers are good dry spot shrubs.
- Cistus is a family of flowering shrubs that has developed an oily leaf to protect against water loss.
- I like the silvery Sea Holly Eryngium giganteum which is a good doer in the dry spots.
Water Storage Plants
- The cacti and succulent families most readily spring to mind for dry gardens and there is a wide variety to choose from.
- Sedum and Sempervivums are easy to grow and the fleshy leaves retain moisture.
- Plants with long tap roots like Verbascum and several poppies can reach moisture deep down.
Tips For Dry Gardens
- Gravel is a good substitute for a mulch and it provides a reflective background for your plants.
- Putting new plants in a dry garden can be a problem. Autumn and early spring are the best times but some watering may still be needed.
- If it is so dry watering becomes necessary soak plants so that they are not encouraged to grow surface roots.
- A canopy of leaves can keep the worst of the drying sun off your garden but then a lot of dry garden plants are sum-lovers.
- The famous Beth Chatto gardens have a gravel garden worth visiting