Check out Drought Tolerant Plants

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There is no denying that we have an extremely unpredictable weather system here in the UK. Not too many years ago, British summer time was illustrated laughing with an umbrella and rubber boots, but in recent years it has certainly taken a dramatic turn towards cosy weather!

Having recently experienced the longest and hottest dry spell in the last 42 years, our poor gardens are struggling to look healthy. The lawns have turned from lush greenery to the color of ripe wheat and without abundant watering, many popular plants would cease to be!

However, there is a group of plants that not only tolerate these hot and dry periods, but actually thrive in them. Some may be native to dry regions of the world, while others have evolved to store liquid in their fleshy leaves in order to use them in difficult times.

If you prefer to be prepared for hot temperatures and want a garden that is not only beautiful in hot weather, but also fragrant, useful for wildlife and very easy to maintain, then together we have a list of the top ten plants that we recommend as perfect for a drought-stricken garden..

1. Lavender
Probably the best known and most popular drought tolerant plant that has it all! Lavender is literally the ultimate drought tolerant plant. With silvery/green foliage that grows easily in almost any type of soil, this robust shrub can withstand high temperatures without negative effects and always produces thin stems with the beautiful strongly scented flowers at the top. Lavenders like ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are very popular and are even used for low covers because they are so easy to grow and keep. Don’t forget that these super drought-resistant plants are also an absolute favorite of butterflies and bees!

2. Eryngium planum ‘sapphire Hobbit’
The Eryngium, or sea holly, is a very useful perennial plant because it resists hot and dry conditions and coastal sites. Eryngium ‘sapphire Hobbit’ produces spectacular cones of tiny sapphire flowers surrounded by a prickly electric sapphire collar. The flower stem give a fabulous texture to the sunny edges and are appreciated by floral arrangements as a complement to summer bouquets, fresh or dried. Loved by pollinating insects, Eryngium is a useful addition to a wild garden or to fill gaps in the borders of cottage gardens. As it is also small in size, ‘sapphire Hobbit’ is a perfect competitor for planting in patio containers, where they absorb heat and produce magnificent sprays of up to 100 flowers! Sedum is a magnet for butterflies in the garden; and is reliable, robust and always colorful! Sedums tend to form a clump, with fleshy drought-resistant foliage and pink autumn flowers.

3. Cistus x powder flower ‘Sunset’
From June to August, the bright pink tissue paper flowers of this magnificent cistus are borne in abundance, each taking only a day before a new flower opens to take its place. The wavy gray-green foliage is evergreen, providing good year-round interest and the perfect backdrop for flowers. Commonly known as cistus or sun rose, this low-growing shrub is a must-have for cosy, sunny borders and gravel gardens. Cistus x pulverulentus ‘Sunset’ likes poor, dry soils that many plants would struggle on and does well in coastal areas, making it an easy choice for some brighter colors in the garden.

4. Verbena bonariensis ‘lollipop’
Like its parents, Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’ presents the same dense clusters of floating purple flowers, but has short, compact stems that only reach half the height. The thin leaves and the robust, almost stiff stems make it an excellent plant for dry and sunny borders, as it loses little moisture through them. Well-formed and uniform plants with an open and airy habit attract butterflies to their bright lavender flowers from June to September. This fabulous rustic dwarf verbena is perfectly proportioned for patio pots and the front of borders, where it creates a wonderfully delicate and airy effect.

5. Pennisetum alopecuroides
.Fountain grass is a very decorative ornamental grass and a plant that arouses interest in the garden almost all year round. It is a low-maintenance plant that quickly forms a clump, which makes it ideal for filling gaps in the borders of perennials and shrubs. The grassy foliage is neat, but remains quite discreet until the flower heads appear at the end of summer. But once they appear, they really dazzle, and the spikelets look like a fluffy squirrel tail! Leave the decorative seed heads on your well grass plants until the fall for a longer interest.

6. Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘small tower’
Russian sage is another fragrant and drought-tolerant perennial plant that is very easy to care for, quickly settles in the garden and is ideal even for beginners. The foliage of Perovskia is silvery and aromatic, and the plants will look fantastic if planted en masse. The sapphire flowers combine well and are useful for color later in the summer. Russian sage plants are loved by bees and butterflies, and “sapphire Spire” also has an RHS Award of Garden Merit. Their little Cousin Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’ has all the same characteristics, but is a reduced version – only at half the height (about 2 feet), which makes it the ideal variety for container cultivation!

7. Yucca filamentosa ‘clear edge’
Cultivated for its majestic foliage and striking summer flowers, this hardy evergreen plant adds color and structure to the garden. Yucca filamentosa ‘Bright Edge’ is aptly named for its dark green, erect sword-shaped leaves, each bordered by a shiny golden border. From July to August, sculptural panicles of large bell-shaped flowers rise above the foliage, creating an imposing display. This variety forms a beautiful clump-forming shrub for sunny borders with good drought resistance once established. Equally useful as an evergreen potted plant that makes a focal point in the garden all year round. .

8. Osteospermum
Versatile and resistant, robust Osteosperms thrive in hot, dry and neglected conditions, while being among the longest flowering plants in the garden! Expect vibrant, long-lasting summer colors and weed-proof ground covers from these easy-to-grow, sun-loving African daisies. A real Star of summer gardens, extremely easy to maintain and yet the breathtaking exhibitions are really awesome

9. Sedum ‘Sunsparkler’
Recently launched from American breeding, the “Sunsparkler” series is already making a name for itself. These showy little fat chickens were chosen for their fabulous leaf color, their neat habit and their large showy flower heads. The low, spreading stems of these colorful succulents form dense foliage cushions that are perfect as ground cover in alpine gardens and rockeries, or to soften the edges of paths. Try planting them in troughs and containers – they will make a colorful centerpiece for the patio table. These almost indestructible plants grow practically everywhere and Sedums have even been used on roofs to create a vibrant “green” roof.

10. Achillea filipendulina ‘coronation gold’
Finally, a touch of solar color to complete the List, One of the best herbaceous perennials for a mixed border, Achillea is easy to grow and a low-maintenance plant. ‘Coronation Gold’ is a popular variety that presents flat heads with golden yellow flowers for a long summer. Achillea likes a cosy and sunny border and brings color to your summer garden with minimal effort. The flower heads are incredibly showy and the plants establish themselves quickly, filling a gap in the border.

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