Arid planting ideas

rosco_p(z6a ont.canada)March 29, 2011

I have an area of my garden that is very hot and dry(close to the foundation of the house and under the eaves).I am wondering if any of you have any similar areas in your gardenscape and have had success with a certain plant (for that area) that you would recommend. I would prefer something around the height of two or so feet. Any suggestions?? Thanks. Ross.

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Sedums.. Particularly sedum autumn joy - they come up pink. But this plant flowers in summer towards early autumn. There's mediterranean plants like lavenders that has such sweet fragrance and it doesn't need as much watering. Also think of using ornamental grasses like blue fescue. You might also consider creeping thymes as ground cover. or you could use pebble stones to mulch the area.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 8:58PM
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rosco_p(z6a ont.canada)

Ianna: Thankyou for your suggestions...the blue Fescue grass seems interesting. I will look into it. Ross.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:09PM
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Hi Ross,

I have Penstemons in a similar area. So long as you can keep them dry-ish in the winter, and give them lots of sun, they'll do great.
Also Nasturtiums, if you don't mind annuals. Mine form untidy mounds-- an informal effect that I like. They are drought tolerant once they're growing strongly.
Any kind of Nepeta is drought tolerant and will thrive on neglect.
Regarding the blue fescue grass-- it's nice but it self seeds like crazy.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:46PM
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I like artemesia. It makes a nice background for other plants because of the color. You have to be careful with it because it can become terribly invasive. As mentioned, sedum is a great drought tolerant plant. I have both groundcover sedums and an old one I think may be 'Luxuriant'. It has light green goliage and pink flowers that are flat. Besides being drought tolerant, it is also a fall butterfly magnet. Great plant! Have you considered annuals? I plant calendula, nasturtiums and marigolds. They seem to do okay. If the soil is very hot and dry, add water polymers to the soil and mulch after the first watering. Hope this helps. Marg

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 8:29AM
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rosco_p(z6a ont.canada)

Thank you Bev and Marg for your ideas. I am presently growing some Penstemon "Red Rocks" that I honestly never thought of placing there but it would be the height I am looking for and if it is drought tolerant...well that would be a nice fit. I will think about some Artemesia for that area as well Marg as it certainly has a beautiful colour in contrast to green plants and as far as taking over I can give it a fair area to spread in before I have to keep it in check. Well thankyou both again for the ideas as my mind was blank as far as arid plants. I will look into all of your suggestions. Ross.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 1:36PM
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sharont(z5 can)

Hi Ross,
There are many Erigeron species (fleabanes), many more Penstemons as Bev suggested. Also fall asters, Eriophyllum lanal pointe, Asclepias incarnata, Pulsatillas, little bluestem & Calamagrostis ornamental grasses, the taller German statice, Rudbeckias, lavender & Amsonia and Perovski. All manage to survive in my sun baked thin soil. I did mulch to keep some moisture though.
Against the south brick wall I have a low growing juniper underplanted with spring bulbs and several clematis sided by scarlet monarda, a veronica and alliums, centranthus ruber and nepata faassenii, even some white lily bulbs for a couple of years! Fall asters and hardy chrysanthemums manage to return yearly too.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 1:13AM
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rosco_p(z6a ont.canada)

Sharon; Thank you also for the arid planting ideas. I will have to do a little research as I am not familiar with several of the plant names you mentioned. I knew if I posted here I could count on some good planting again I thank each of you for taking the time and giving me the ideas I needed to fill this area. Happy gardening.Ross.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 9:04AM
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