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Drought Tolerant Border

Gardening in the hot areas of the United States is a particular challenge. A wide array of handsome native plants are available for cultivation, but to achieve the most satisfying variety of texture and bloom, plants from other parts of the country are desirable. From the Greek word xeros – meaning “dry”-comes the term xeriscaping, which is simply landscaping using minimal irrigation. The secret is to use tough, drought-tolerant plants that need neither intensive irrigation nor rich, amended soil. Fortunately, there are numerous such perennials that are garden favorites no matter what the climate. So, even though cacti and yuccas are beautiful, you need not limit your gardening to these varieties. And by using plants that are undemanding of water you help conserve valuable water resources. Even drought-tolerant plants need occasional watering (especially while becoming established), so look around your area to find out what irrigation requirements you'll probably have. If at all possible, install an appropriate type of drip irrigation system to conserve water and maximize its effect. Apply a layer of mulch on the planting bed to reduce evaporation and cool the perennials' roots. By combining these strategies with the garden design shown here, you will achieve a beautiful, environmentally-friendly landscape feature. Plant in groups of three except where indicated.

Boltonia 'Nana'
A dwarf variety with large 1" flowers in splendid profusion during late summer.
Height 24"
Durable to -30° F

J Limonium tataricum
Forms rosettes of leathery leaves with multi-stemmed branches bearing lavish sprays of tiny flowers. Height 20" Durable to -40° F
B Buddleia 'Nanho Purple'
Large shrubs with long, arching branches and tiny fragrant purple flowers. Height 4-6' Durable to -20° F
K Pennisetum 'Morning Dew'
Clumps of slender, graceful dark green leaves and outward arching spikes of foxtail-like flower heads. Height 24-36" Durable to -20° F
C Coreopsis 'Zagreb'
Golden yellow,starshaped flowers bloom all summer long, and the lacy foliage is lovely.
Height 18"
Durable to -20° F
L Penstemon 'Purple Haze'
Smooth, glossy leaves form low clumps and stems with smaller leaves bear purple foxglove-like flowers in panicles. Height 8-' 0" Durable to -10° F
D Delosperma cooperi
Splendidly showy flowers will tumble over rock walls, and are showcased by rich green, dense foliage. Height 4" Durable to 0° F
M Perovskia atriplicifolia
Delightful sprays of lavender-blue flowers atop silvery stems. Height 36-48" Durable to -20° F
E Echinacea 'Magnus'
Distinctive convex flowers with wine-red ray florets and a vaulted, goldbrown, prickly disc. Height 36" Durable to -40° F
N Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Grayish-green fleshy leaves with large domes of bright pink flowers which soften to a pale pink through winter. Height 24" Durable to -40° F
F Lavandula 'Hidcote'
Richly aromatic with dusky blue-gray leaves and purple flowers. Excellent choice for rock and fragrance gardens. Height 12" Durable to-20° F
O Sedum 'Fuldeglut'
A low, creeping variety with fleshy deep red leaves in tight little rosettes trailing from short stems. Height 2-4" Durable to -40° F
G Lavandula' Martha Roderick'
Bright violet flower spikes are rather dazzling, particularly in contrast with the silverygray foliage. Height 12-18" Durable to -20° F
P Sedum 'Vera Jameson'
An upright, branching variety with fleshy blue-green leaves that take on a handsome red cast in the cool weather of Fall. Height 9-12" Durable to -40° F
H Liatris 'Floristan White'
White flowers on dense spikes atop leafy stems. A pleasing addition to the back of a mixed border.
Height 36"
Durable to -40° F
Q Sedum divergens
Thick, succulent, coppery green, bead-like leaves are held tightly on short stems. Height 6" Durable to -40° F
I Liatris 'Kobold'
Wildflowers on dense spikes atop leafy stems. A pleasing addition to the back of a mixed border.
Height 20-30"
Durable to -40° F


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