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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What is your favorite "drought" tolerant plant ?

As soon as I typed out this title I knew there had to be a plethora (I just like saying that in my head so try to ignore the cabin fever) .. in any case, my point is there are many drought tolerant plants to chose from, but what would be your most reliable one for making a statement in the garden ?

Statement as in it packs a bit of a punch and you do not have to baby it ... once it is established, it seems to take care of itself for the most part .. yet is very pleasing to the eye .. not exactly a "ho hum" boring plant, that doesn't posses some unique qualities you appreciate.
This one is VERY tactile and I never forgot how much my son liked them.

Good old fashioned "stachys byzantia" aka Lamb's Ears.
I know ... it has been around forEVER so why should it come up on the garden hot list now ?
Exactly for the "hot" reason is why I have come to respect this unassuming plant very much these past few years.
They keep saying each of the last three years (here) has been the hottest ever.
This plant takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin !
I have truly run it through the mill with neglect and a side dish of out right meanness.
The little scientist in me wanted to see how far I could push the envelope with this plant.
I think there is a little of that in every gardener at some point right ? not the meanness, the scientist!
One thing I do to keep them in optimum condition, is never let them flower .. cut the flower stalks off or any growth that is trying to go upright.
I feel a little sorry for doing that to them BUT it makes a huge difference in their appearance !

So ... from May to October snap shots in time with this plant acting as a soft neutral colored border.
June
July
August
You can see a little stress going on now with the hottest month .. some holes that surprised me because you wonder what insect wants a mouth full of "fuzz" ?
September ... cooler weather helps refresh them
October
I am actually thinking of extending them further up and down this border because it is such a great plant for bordering ... soft and yielding against the flagstone and a wonderful neutral "color" that other plants can play off of.
Your favorite drought tolerant plant doesn't have to be used in such a way .. it can be a singular focal point or a small grouping .. but truly ... what is your favorite in your own garden ?

26 comments:

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I just love your gardens. It gives me peace and joy to look at them and enjoy them from here. We have never really had to work in drought conditions but I love the plants that will take the hot sun and not fry because of it- geraniums, etc.
Trying to get a few blog visits in tonight while hubby is feeling good. xo Diana

Nadezda said...

Joy, love your first photo, really stachys is very suitable for all seasons, needs a bit of care.
I don't know a drought tolerant plant because I have no problem with rains - they are very often here. But some spireas are very tolerant to drought, I never water them.

Lisa Greenbow said...

I have some of these lambs ears out front where the plants are never watered and get nearly full sun. The soil there is also very thin, sandy. They hold up beautifully. I always like dwarf mondo grass for edging. It grows incredibly slowly and tolerates drought, shade etc.
I always admire your gardens. They are so well maintained and you have so many plants that meld together beautifully. I always think I want mine to look so neat and tidy. It just doesn't happen.

Alain Charest said...

A good candidate would be Phlomis russeliana. It is very drought tolerant and certainly makes a statement.

jeannine nye said...

what wonderful pictures of your garden during the year... and now you cannot wait to get started again, I bet** I wish my garden looked as well organised as your did,but I live in hope.. My daughter lives near coburg in Northumberland county, and I was over in June and visited Kingston as she had friends there.. we have a Kingston where I grew up in the county of Surrey England, so it was fun to compare... of course the weather was great and warm and I went into many shops, especially the'thrift shops' as they are a great passion of mine at home, so had to see what the Canadian ones were like*!! I am going to join your followers, so I can see how you get along in this New Year of opportunities... hurrah for people in Canada, my girl loves it there, she has been there over 14 years now.. we have a real Canadian granddaughter too!! J

jellyfishbay said...

Your garden just keeps looking more and more beautiful over the years. I've never really thought of the lamb's ear as an edging plant, but it certainly looks pretty in your photos. My one question would be if they get invasive. Plants that are easy to grow, can often just keep growing until they take over the garden and even parts of the lawn.

Patsi said...

First, your side yard is way too tidy. Second, any kind of succulent, don't ask me what kind because I don't know the names. Ahhh just getting goofy.

Casa Mariposa said...

Orange milkweed (ascepias tuberosa), catmint, and aster divaricatus are super tough in a drought, as are most sedums. I used to grow lamb's ears as a stress reliever plant. I love how soft and fuzzy the leaves are. :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Diana girl thank you for stopping by ... I know it is a stressful time for you with John's illness .. I do hope things will go well and smoothly for you both !
Thank you so much for your kind words about my garden .. I get a great deal of peace and satisfaction from it ... plants are so interesting .. you never know what they will do !

Hello Nadezda girl and yes ! I love spireas for that characteristic too ! They can grow through just about any hardship and look wonderful .. I have quite a few of them.
You are so lucky not to worry about drought conditions .. our summers can be really tough on plants.

Lisa girl you are too sweet about how tidy my garden looks .. you don't see the bad side of it because I don't usually show those pictures (unless I have to for a point to be made ?LOL) .. I don't think I have tried any other mondo grass than the black kind that is like an annual here .. I loved that dramatic color !

Alain hello there .. I wasn't familiar with that plant so I looked it up and wow ! Yes it would make a statement for sure .. and very tough so it could be a problem solver for sure!

Hello Jeannine ! Thank you for stopping by and yes there are a lot of towns and city names that go back to the UK .. lots in Nova Scotia especially where my whole family was born.
I am smiling about how well your daughter acclimated to being CANADIAN EH ? LOL
And a Canadian grand daughter to seal the deal congratulations !

Hello Jill there you pop up again ! : )
I do have to thin the Lamb's Ears out every so often but it isn't a big deal .. I understand though about not wanting an invasive plant to have to babysit .. this isn't that bad though and the benefits outweigh the bother for sure !

Patsi girl you make me laugh ... you are VERY BAD ! LOL .. I get a lot of that about the tidy part ... roll on ! LOL You are so right about succulents I use them in tough spots too. No need for specific names because they all work well : )

Tammy I think that is what my son thought too .. they are great stress relievers , you just can't get over how soft they feel right ? Yes I grow milkweed, catmint, asters and sedums in the sun strip .. sometimes called hell strip too when summer really hits .. great stand up plants they are.

RobinL said...

Anyone who knows my blog knows what my favorite drought tolerant plant is, Sedum Angelina. It spreads out nicely, but is easy to move around. Mostly I love how it's interesting all year long, especially when it gets colorful in cold weather. It never needs one ounce of care or water.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Robin girl don't you realize it was because of you and your admiration for Angelina that I bought two of those plants and love them as well ?!! I think they are terrific and also love those colours in the Fall and how carefree it is ... gardeners help other gardeners with rating plants like that ... your garden is always so pretty !

Angie said...

The scientist in me has tried way too many drought tolerant plants in this garden than I'd care to admit too Joy. They do not do well here. I tend of avoid any plants that have silver foliage - those sun worshiping, drought proof plants are not candidates for my garden.
I love your borders and how the paving creates a natural meander through them. You have a good eye for design and I like how the long swathes of Stachys makes an eye catching statement as it softens the edge. I should really try that effect in my own garden rather than too many itsy bitsy edging plants. Thanks for the inspiration - I hope the remainder of your weekend is a good one.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Angie girl and thank you so much !..
I love your Buddha with his hands over his eyes ! .. and wow, you do get a lot of rain! ..
Yes I am going for more "swaths" than I have before .. I didn't think I had the room to do that with but now I can see it working in smaller proportions for me .. you always keep learning each year and I love that!

GRACE PETERSON said...

Hi Joy,

Dang that border is gorgeous! I can see why you love the lamb's ears so much. I had it years ago and it never looked as good as yours. I think my favorite drought tolerant plant would have to be all the lovely sedums. Take care my friend.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Gracie girl and thank you : )
I have been lucky with them each year is different always depending on the weather of course and with this winter as weird as it has been who knows what is going to happen now ugh !
Sedums are always dependable ... I love them too .. so many different kinds how can you go wrong eh ? LOL

Teresa said...

Tienes un jardín muy lindo, tus flores preciosas. Besitos.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Thank you very much Teresa !

Jennifer said...

I added Lamb's Ears last summer and so it is a relatively new plant for me. I have always admired those soft grey leaves, and if my little patch looks half as nice as yours does, I will be a very happy gardener! Good to know to keep them from flowering. Neat and tidy is always a bonus.
It's been pretty miserable cold hasn't it? We are supposed to be getting warmer temperatures tomorrow. Is it just me or is February dragging on forever? Have a nice weekend Joy!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hi Jennifer girl .. Lamb's Ears have been around for ages but you know how it is when older varieties are over looked by hot new ones on the market .. but some just keep being a favorite no matter what ... the weather is totally CRAZY ! ... who knows what kind of Spring (if we get one) will happen ... fingers crossed it won't be too shocking ? LOL

CiNdEe said...

Knock Knock(-: I just wanted to say hi. Hope you are doing well.(-: I finallyyyyyyyyyyy figured out my old email address and was able to get back on my old blog so worked all day getting everything fixed. Old new blog deleted. Yay so much happier.(-: I don't know how long I tried to figure out how to get back on that blog. a few years anyhow. Oh well.
Spring is springing up here. Lots of outside stuff to be done.

Oh and I love lambs ears too. I plant them at random locations around the yard. They like it on the shady side here. They like water too. Seem to grow well for me. I love that they fill in so well and look nice all summer long(-:

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Cindee girl I can't find your blog !!... I have to write to you to get the proper link again.
Spring is still far away from us here in the white north yet.
Yes the lamb's ears would like it better in the shade considering how hot and sunny you have it there .. they are a dear plant with fuzzy feelings ! LOL

Lea said...

I had forgotten about Lamb's Ears - thanks for the reminder!
Have a great week!
Lea

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Lea girl : ) ... I love that barn you photographed .. she is a beauty !!
They truly make you stop and think of what amazing purpose they had.
Put some Lamb;s Ears in girl ! LOL

CiNdEe said...

Stopping by to say Hi(-:
Hope all is well. (-:

Jodi DeLong said...

I was JUST talking about lambs ears today in my post! I don't care how 'old fashioned' a plant is supposed to be, I love it for its texture, colour, and the pollinators adore its flowers. Lovely post, Joy.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello you two !
Cindee I just sent you an email so make sure you include your address to your new blog so I can update it on my blog too!

Jodi isn't that funny we both hit on lamb's ears : ) they are a permanent plant in my garden for sure. I just saw one of your previous posts of your photography and your pictures are absolutely gorgeous !