Skip to main content

Dry Gardens


Unfortunately the lack of rain has meant that lawns have suffered and a lot of plants will have given signs of stress in dropping foliage.

Flowering times can also be affected, with some plants offering up a second bloom when they’d normally be fading.

However, if our typical English summer is slipping further south year by year then gardeners have an opportunity to try new plants that wouldn’t have been possible before.

Plants that will tolerate dry places for longer spells will also take centre stage. Russian Sage, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ with its spikes of violet-blue makes a perfect partner to Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’, the two colours in wonderful contrast.

Other plants like Eryngium (Sea Holly) and Iris have adapted to survive long dry spells. Silver foliage plants withstand the glare of full sun easier. Teucrium ‘Compactum’ and Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) are good examples.

Also for drier soils and considered a weed in Australia , Verbena bonariensis is ever popular at Chelsea and Hampton Flower Shows, self seeding to provide tall, swaying masses of rosy-purple flowers through late summer into autumn.