By Ramon Gonzalez, TreeHugger
I have mentioned before, in the post on converting lawns to gardens, that my garden survives on rainfall. The only time I supplement watering is when I am trying to establish a new plant. Annuals, perennials, spring-blooming, and fall-blooming bulbs all get the same treatment. If they cannot live on rainfall, they cannot grow in my garden.
Most years this is not a problem, but this year’s drought really tested the toughest of plants in my garden. These five plants performed particularly well, and they seemed to scoff at the drought while other plants around them wilted.
1. Rudbeckia — above
The Rudbeckia genus is perfectly suited for drought-tolerant garden plantings and is commonly available at garden centers. Black-eyed Susan, R. hirta, is so frequently used in landscaping projects that a lot of home gardeners may turn their noses up at them, but give them a shot too.
Cockscomb’s crested form makes it my favorite in this genus, but the feather/flame-shaped blooms are just as drought tolerant.
There are a lot of coneflower cultivars available, but none of them seem to hold up as well to drought in my garden as the common purple coneflower.
Several species of Nicotiana are grown as ornamental plants, and their sweet-smelling flowers will have you walking through the garden in the evening to inhale their wonderful aroma.
There are lots of cultivars available for the garden, ranging in color, height and flower size. For my money, there is no other annual that is able to withstand the heat and drought and still produce beautiful blooms.
What plants endured in your garden this year despite the dry weather? Did the drought make you consider replacing your lawn?