Current seasonal conditions across our region and increasingly severe water restrictions in many of our towns, prompt me to focus on drought tolerant/low water use plants this month.
Let’s start with Australian native plants, which I know I have written about in many Green Thumbs columns before. Looking for a hedge or plant to define the edge of a garden? Westringia is a great option with cultivars (such as Grey Box, Aussie Box) that are nice and dense and with either green or grey foliage and white or blue small flowers. Lomandra is a tough, grassy native that is good for garden edges in a dry area-some of the newer cultivars (such as Verday, Little Con and Nyalla) are more compact and finer leaved than the older cultivars.
Native shrubs such as Correa, Grevillia, Callistemons and Acacia are tough in low watering locations, come in a range of sizes from ground covers to small shrubs (1-2m) to small trees and, as I repeatedly say, their flowers are great at attracting beautiful native birds to our gardens. Hardenbergia is a tough native ground cover or small climbing plant that comes in white or purple flower colours.
Succulents also come to mind when we think of drought hardy plants. Agaves can be a big, ‘structural’ or statement plant in a dry spot in the garden and Sedums are another succulent that can be used as ground covers (Gold Mound) or as an eye catching flowering specimen (Autumn Joy).
Other flowering plants that are hardy in dry conditions include rosemary (ground cover and upright cultivars available), lavender, agapanthus, gazanias and, of course, roses.
Shrubs and small trees that don’t need much watering once established are oleanders, crepe myrtles, olive trees and cypress pines.
Finally, for new or established gardens in dry times, mulch, mulch, mulch!
Millthorpe Garden Nursery