Archive for the ‘Drought Tolerant’ Category

Marvel of Peru

Mirabilis jalapa or Four o' Clocks

I’m pretty sure I did a post about this pretty self-seeding annual last year or the year before.  Anyhow it’s doing so well this year I had to give it a bit of the spotlight.  The Mirabilis jalapa or Four o’clocks are the most commonly grown ornamental of the species.   Mirabilis in latin means wonderful and Jalapa is a town in Mexico.  They were exported from Peru in 1549 so they are also known as ‘The Marvel of Peru’.  The range of colors is astounding in just one plant.  Mine go from deep pink to a yellow with pink speckles to a blend of the two colors.  As their common name says the flowers open in the late afternoon and bloom all night.  Therefore they are polinated by long-tongued moths such as the Sphinx or Hawk Moth as well as other nocturnal polinators that are attracted by their sweet scent.   Some common uses for this plant include edible crimson dye for cakes and jelly, diuretic made from parts of the plant, root is used in the treatment of dropsy, leaves are used to decrease inflamation and the powered seeds are used as cosmetics. They are perennials in zones 9-10, but come back from seed very easily in other zones.  I planted mine from seed years ago and have had volunteers ever since.  You will need to deadhead regularly to keep them from self-sowing everywhere.  This is a perfect plant for xeriscaping since they are quite drought tolerant.  Which worked out really well for my garden this summer.  🙂

Sedum ‘Rosy Glow’

The burgundy stems and blue-green foliage on this herbaceous stonecrop are striking from spring through fall.  But then come late summer you get the added bonus of blooms.

The flower heads before they open remind me a bit of Broccoli Florets except with a pinkish tone. 

These buds haven’t quite opened yet, but when they do they’ll be a dark ruby red color.  The color deepens as the flower ages and I tend to leave the spent heads on through the fall and winter.  Here’s some more info on this plant:

  • Easily grown in average soil that is well drained
  • Grow in full sun but will tolerate part shade
  • Low maintenance, perfect for rock gardens
  • Grows from 12 inches wide to 8 inches tall
  • No serious disease or insect problems
  • Blooms attract butterflies
  • Tolerates heat, drought and poor soils
  • Hardy in zones 3 to 9 

Inspite of the Heat (Part 2-Shade Lovers)

(From upper L-R across & down: Lirope variegata, Heucera 'Plum Pudding', Autumn Fern, Hosta 'Royal Standard', Variegated Solomon's Seal, Pulmonaria 'Raspberry Splash' and Calla Lily)

Last week I showed you the sun-loving plants that stand up to the heat & drought in my garden.  If you missed that post you can read it here.  Today I thought I would share some of the shade-loving plants that are surviving these conditions in my garden so far.   All of these plants I grow mainly for their attractive foliage even though most of them do get some type of blooms.  The Autumn Fern is the only one that doesn’t bloom, but it’s foliage is just as colorful come fall with shades of yellow, orange & red.  These all grow in full shade conditions (filtered light only) except for the Calla Lily which is getting morning sunlight.  I do have some of this Calla Lily growing in deeper shade conditions and does well there too.   In addition I have some of the Lirope and Variegated Solomon’s Seal in a different area of the garden that get more sun and are doing just as well.  🙂 

note:  Since I do my posts in advance this was created before we got some much needed rain.  Thank goodness!

Bloomin Tuesday

(From upper L-R across & down: Russian Sage, Pentas and Hydrangea 'Limelight')

 Not alot going on in the garden this week, still hot and dry.  😦  No significant rainfall so the garden is a bit tired and worn out looking.  And usually it looks pretty good until about August, but this summer has been a beast.  Regardless some perennials thrive on the heat such as the Russian Sage.  It hasn’t grown very big this summer but has been continuously blooming for over a month now.  Limelight is just starting to come into the spotlight and is looking really good.  I’ve had a bit of leaf loss from the lack of rain, but this is a not a whimpy Hydrangea by any means.  Pentas are great summer annuals and this pink one is really putting on a nice show this month.  To see more Bloomin’ Tuesday posts or to join in this week please visit our gracious host Jean @ Ms Greenthumb

Update:  I wrote this post yesterday but as of today we got a nice rain shower this afternoon which means 5 of my 6 rainbarrels are full again.  🙂

Inspite of the heat (Part 1-Sun lovers)

(From upper L-R across & down: Rudbeckia, Echinops 'Ritro', Lantana 'Miss Huff', Hemerocallis 'Colorful Summer', Liatris, Asclepias, Echinacea and Hemerocallis 'Kwanzo')

Here’s some of the sun-loving perennials that survived the weeks of heat with no rain in my garden this  past month.  These are definitely plants that will always be welcome additions to the landscape, in my opinion.  I know I’m not crazy about dragging hoses or toting watering cans around when it’s over 90 degrees.  Now the potted plants and veggie garden get the water from my rain barrels which leaves either Mother Nature or hoses for the ornamental gardens.  However I can’t afford to have a huge water bill not to mention that sometimes we are under water restrictions due to drought.  So if there are plants that will stand up to these harsh conditions without being babied and pampered they are always at the top of my favorites list.  Natives are always a good addition to the garden, but there are quite a few cultivars that are just as hardy.  Next time I’ll show you my list of  shade-loving perennials that have survived this weather thus far this summer.  Hope everyone is having a nice weekend so far.  🙂