As we work our way through the hot summer months, and the amount of water needed for lush lawns and healthy plants increases, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some beautiful and functional garden features and plants that not only survive— and some flourish— in drought conditions.
There’s not a more ubiquitous desert plant than the cactus; it’s able to survive on minimal amounts of water for long periods makes it the ideal candidate for a drought proof garden. Some varieties native to the high-desert regions can also survive when the temperature dips to freezing levels. Here is a great article from Better Homes & Gardens about growing temperature-hardy cactus.
Native to the Upper-Midwest, purple coneflower enjoys the gamut of weather conditions: from the harsh cold winter to the scorching summer heat. Purple cone flowers are also a favorite of butterflies and small song birds.
A growing movement in the US, xeriscaping is based on the principles of low to no yard maintenance. Obviously, this landscape style is completely determinate on your family’s lifestyle, but if a large expanse of grass and the work required to maintain the turf is something you don’t particularly enjoy, this is something that would be worth looking investigating. Below are some very creative and innovative xeriscapes that will hopefully inspire you to consider removing unwanted plants from your yard.
It might seem odd to see rain gardens in a list of drought-resistant plants, but hear me out. Just because the calendar says summer doesn’t mean the rain just stops. When the summer rains do come, they are often short-lived yet fierce. Instead of simply shedding the water away from the house and off the property like most landscapes are engineered to do, why not collect the water in a designated area where plants who enjoy “wet feet” are located. Once the summer heat begins and the ground dries up, these plants will simply go dormant, awaiting their next drink of water. Not only are they pretty to look at, they also serve a wonderful environmental benefit by allowing the soil to filter the water instead of it going directly into the storm sewer.
Speaking of collecting rain, installing a rain barrel is a great way to extend the benefit of summer storms and do a solid for the environment. Rain barrels come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be easily made or purchased from many retailers. The water collected in rain barrels isn’t only for gardens: the water can be used for car washing, watering of indoor plants, and many other uses. I hope this list has peaked your interest in drought proofing your own garden.
Happy housing from your favorite Realtor.