Planting Those Really Sunny Spots

Nearly every garden has a spot that really cooks in the summer. It might be the west-facing wall of the garage, the bed along the south side of the house, or maybe the roof-top garden. Add drought to existing sunny conditions and your planting choices for these areas start to shrink quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of water-wise landscape plants that welcome the dry heat of these microclimates.

Here are a few hints for establishing plants in those “hot spots.”

  • Don’t plant in the heat of summer. Plant in early spring or fall so the plants will have a chance to establish their robust root systems without the heat of summer.
  • Incorporate water-absorbing crystals like Soil Moist when you back fill the planting hole. Then water your new plants regularly throughout their first growing season. Drought-tolerant plants still need water even if used in a water-wise garden. (Keep in mind that if the soil is fast draining and water is not available, plants may not be a practical choice. Consider alternatives, such as tiles and beach glass. For more ideas, see the blog post Mass Appeal.
  • Be sure to add a 2- to 3-inch layer of fertile mulch to keep the soil cool and retain moisture.

Let’s get specific. Some of my favorite low-maintenance, drought-tolerant landscape plants are:

  • Brachyglottis greyi ‘Sunshine’, also called Sunshine Senecio or daisy bush
  • Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, also called Griffith’s Spurge ‘Fireglow’
  • Lavendula angustifolia ‘Vera’, also called Vera Lavender
  • Salvia guaranitica ‘Balack and Blue’, also called Blue Anise Sage
  • Many varieties of succulents

Not only do these plants love heat, they are also wonderfully fragrant and will perfume the air.

Contact us to learn more about water-wise gardens and how to choose plants for specific locations.