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Smorgasbord => Gardens => Topic started by: Toedancer on May 30, 2006, 12:33:02 PM

Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: Toedancer on May 30, 2006, 12:33:02 PM
Yeah, well I just walked back from the village and was looking at people's gardens, wilted badly. I have been interested in drough tolerant perennials and annuals for awhile now. There is a perennial lady who sells hers for a buck each and now I am only buying those. So I started a list for those of you who, like me, just can't not have a garden to muck about in. I haven't done veggies yet, but will for next summer. Water is going to become an issue sooner than we think.

Perennials (that need 50% of the water that most others do)
Black Eyed Susan
Coneflowers (I got white this year, beside the White Obedience)
Perennial Bachelor buttons (groundrunners, so remove seedlings)
Daylily (there are around 20,000 hybrids, love em)
Candytuft (for borders, bloom in spring and bloom and bloom for weeks)
Tiger Lilies (well all ditch growers are resistant)

Annuals
Marigold
Zinnia
Geraniums
Spider Flowers
Cosmos (re-seed themselves)
Nasturtiums (yum for the wabbits)
Most herbs
Alyssum
Coleus
Lobelia

And of course lots of mulching to keep soil moist.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on May 30, 2006, 02:30:04 PM
In the running for my most favourite plant is the wee Arctic blue willow that the woman who did the major mucking-out of my place two years ago found for me.

In the Arctic, I think it stays very low, almost a ground cover. Down here, it becomes a small bush, and mine at the moment really needs radical pruning. That's easy and fun, though -- it's like cutting hair. You could almost do topiary on it, but I just keep mine a medium-sized ball.

I think it tolerates any conditions, being a toughie from the Arctic, and its leaves -- very fine, small groups -- really do look blue-ish in the right light. A most friendly plant.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: vickyinottawa on May 30, 2006, 02:47:20 PM
Russian Sage!  It's hardy!  It's beautiful!  It gets big and crazy!
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: Timebandit on May 30, 2006, 03:05:59 PM
I have yet to figure out how to kill a tarragon plant.  Which is good, because it tastes nice on fish.

I'm trying out some shade perennials in my front yard.  I've planted an astilbe, some freckled violets, a creeping myrtle/primrose?, and a hardy orchid.  We'll see how they do this year.  Next year, I want to re-landscape the yard.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: brebis noire on May 30, 2006, 03:22:20 PM
Mint. Grows like a weed, even among rocks.

Ajuga (bugle?) is nice ground cover and drought resistant. Flowers in spring, like right now.

Dianthus is very hardy, too. Nice perennial, flowers in June and has nice foliage the rest of the time.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: lagatta on May 30, 2006, 03:45:29 PM
brebis, be VERY careful with mint. It crowds out everything else.

We've been doing the digging and some of the landscaping in front of the co-op (four Montréal triplexes). Lots of work, but it will look purty. Some members bought perennials on sale 75% off at the end of last season, just before I moved here.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on May 30, 2006, 03:51:13 PM
Myrtle, aka periwinkle or vinca, is one of my favouritest ground covers. If it's happy, it spreads like mad. In the spring, it is covered with the loveliest blue flowers, and then the rest of the time you have that cover of shiny dark green leaves to look at. It is a perfect plant.

That reminds me of flax. Flax flowers are very like myrtle flowers, maybe a little lighter in colour, but simply charming. The plant is higher, a discrete plant, not a ground cover, but when it is blossoming, the flowers come day after day for a while, in abundance. I suppose if you were talented you could harvest the stuff and make linen out of it.   :wink:

It is, unfortunately, a little sensitive. I never had a flax plant last more than two years -- dunno why.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: brebis noire on May 30, 2006, 04:01:22 PM
yup, lagatta, with the mint - I'm already on it. I have it in an enclosed rock space with some other herbs and I am merciless. I'm forcing it to grow among the rocks, which is better than dandelions and grass.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: Timebandit on May 30, 2006, 04:21:27 PM
Quote from: skdadl
Myrtle, aka periwinkle or vinca, is one of my favouritest ground covers. If it's happy, it spreads like mad. In the spring, it is covered with the loveliest blue flowers, and then the rest of the time you have that cover of shiny dark green leaves to look at. It is a perfect plant.


That's the stuff!  Blue periwinkle, shade loving and drought tolerant, or so the little propaganda tag reads.  We'll see how it does in the shade of my 90 yr old spruce tree!
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: Toedancer on May 30, 2006, 04:22:11 PM
Skdadl, not sure if your talking about everyday blue fax or not. Blue fax should re-seed and sow itself year after year. So I'm wondering perhaps if the soil is draining well, they can rot quite easily, which is the only sensitivity I am aware of.

OTT, you could try companion planting if you like them so much. Not sure but I think the linseed oil in flax offends some bugs; hopefully aphids the little bistards.

ETA: So where was I going with the companion planting? Oh yes, I like raw carrots and flax protects them.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on May 30, 2006, 04:37:35 PM
I'm sure that's the stuff, Toedancer, and it would reseed, moving about just a bit, the second year -- but after that, never again.

I've had parsley do the same, btw. I'm never sure whether I need new parsley so I always get some, just in case.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: deBeauxOs on May 31, 2006, 10:53:23 PM
Centaurae montana - a most gorgeous explosion of blue flowers, and if you keep on dead-heading the plants, they will produce blooms into September.  It self-seeds too.  A warning - it seems that this plant needs ants to help the buds open. Since it is beautiful as a cut flower, do as you would with peonies and leave the ants in the garden. Photo here (http://www.epicplants.com/tagView.asp?ProductIDTrunc=110-15).
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: lagatta on June 01, 2006, 03:17:38 AM
Salut, deBeauxOs! Que c'est joli!

And I'm trying to visualise toedancer's everyday blue fax!  :shock:
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on June 01, 2006, 07:18:48 AM
Ha! Greetings, deBeauxOs.   :)

"Will spread where happy" -- that sounds a lot like a condition I might have, although mine would be more "will spread from sitting at computer too much."
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: anne cameron on June 02, 2006, 08:46:29 AM
Centauri Montana, huh?  So THAT'S what that is!!  It showed up in one of my re-cycled containers (it used to be the tub of an agitator-type washing machine!), and has taken hold there.  Twice I've dug it out and moved it, and it came back each time.  Now it's spreading along the fence around the dog yard...gorgeous but it's a good job I'm not an organized gardener or I'd go mad trying to "control" it.

Right now the brume is in full glory.  It's considered a "noxious weed" on the Island, but I like it.  It's another of those things which spread like wildfire, people are always cutting it down, digging it out , one of the neighbours went at his with a tiger torch (that was good for a half hour of excitment).

I have a "thing" I'm nurturing.  Years ago in the nursery in Powell River I saw this very tiny "thing" growing in one of those little two-inch starter pots with a hybrid primrose in it.  I wasn't all that interested in the primrose but the "thing" fascinated me.  It was obviously a "weed".  I took it to the cash and asked "what is this, please?" and the woman said Oh that's just a week, here I'll pluck it out for you. I said no thank you, and I bought the hybrid primrose, took the whole thing home, no idea which of the many primroses that particular one is at this point but the 'thing' is doing well.  It's some kind of clover but most of the leaf is almost black, just a thin strip of green around the edge of the leaves and most of the leaves are 4 or 5 leaf clover.  Haven't seen any hint of "flower" yet, it spreads by creeping out over the ground and has enlarged to about a foot and a half mass.  I'm trying to start babies from it this year, several friends want some of it.  And I haven't found anything in any plant book which even begins to look like the "thing".  Anyone have any ideas?  The leaves aren't big, it isn't one of those "shamrock" things, it's just four leaf clover, but black....I'm hoping it will spread out of that little strip in front of the sardine can and take over where the grass now grows.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on June 02, 2006, 10:12:27 AM
I have a funny little creeper I can't identify either but sort of like. It appears to be indestructible, so I rip it out freely when there's something else I like better and want to encourage in a particular spot, but I don't mind if my thing-weed fills in elsewhere. Better it than some of the ugly weeds.

I'm trying to talk self into walk down to the garden centre. Feeling very lassitudinous, but it's time to fill out the herb selection.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: lagatta on June 02, 2006, 10:17:25 AM
Out and about!  8)

Where is your nearest garden centre?
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: brebis noire on June 02, 2006, 10:18:43 AM
So many different varieties of sedum and sempervivum - very drought tolerant - tolerant of pretty much everything, I find. Some flower very nicely in the fall. One of the varieties I like for rock gardens are hens and chicks - you get the large 'hen' rosette, then the next years she's surrounded by her chicks. Cute.

http://www.rainyside.com/ornamentals/co ... ainer.html (http://www.rainyside.com/ornamentals/container/CoombsFaceContainer.html)

http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/83624-product.html (http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/83624-product.html)
(mine aren't as fancy as these - just ordinary green ones)
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on June 02, 2006, 10:34:42 AM
Oh, it's not far -- maybe eight blocks straight south -- and there's another one only about twice that far to the east. One not far beyond that as well. Even the local Loblaw's has some basics, although if I'm going, I should go to the good guys.

I like hens and chicks too. I must check mine to see how they're fighting back the weeds in their little corner.

Moss. I want some garishly chartreuse moss.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: anne cameron on June 02, 2006, 12:18:44 PM
There's all this awful shite you can buy to kill moss...it's like listening to Carl Rowe on a rant...get rid of the moss, pre-emptive strike against the moss, hiss moss, boo moss...my front yard is gorgeous with moss in the winter, I do absolutely nothing to discourage it. I'd be happy if it took over the yard, but as soon as the monsoon stops and the sun beats down the moss just vanishes.  I think it's the direct sunlight does it because there are places in the bush here where even in summertime the moss is a foot thick and dark green .  I even brought a blanket of it home to try to... no luck.

Right now it is pouring rain from a dark cloud and beating down sun from beyond the edge of the cloud and the air is dancing with rainbows!!

Very strange weather yesterday and today.  Maybe the Mother Ship is coming for a landing??
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: deBeauxOs on June 02, 2006, 12:35:39 PM
Quote
Right now it is pouring rain from a dark cloud and beating down sun from beyond the edge of the cloud and the air is dancing with rainbows!!

Very strange weather yesterday and today.  Maybe the Mother Ship is coming for a landing??
Yup, it is being drawn to the west coast by the energy radiated from your heathen, moss-worshipping pagan rituals.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: anne cameron on June 02, 2006, 12:55:50 PM
I thought you were heading off to sit on the roof of a house and play games with an old dog?

If you hear an odd noise to the west it's the sound of that damned creeping buttercup growing in the rain.  It would probably defy Agent Orange!  And now the seed catalogue people are offering a PINK version!
Just what we don't need, more buttercup!

Which is how most people out here feel about brume.  One story is it was brought to the Island by a Scottish woman who was homesick for her ain folk, another is it was the logging companies brought it in to control erosion after they clearcut the slopes.  I tend to the story of the homesick Scottish woman... they get the blame for everything else, why not brume , too.  Besides, the logging companies wouldn't worry about erosion.  Or ruining streams and spawning beds or landslides down into block rivers or..they don't worry about anything except profit.

Must go, have to get Carlene out of a fight!
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: Toedancer on June 02, 2006, 09:46:40 PM
:shock:  Anne, your a twin for a friend of mine. She lives up on the hill, very fancy, schmancy, BUT she does not ever root out what her neighbours consider an evil 'weed' that produces flowers. It's friggin hilarious, because she lives with muckety-mucks in 'power'. She not only cuts the grass around them, but she actually 'cultivates' them. When I visit I find myself explaining to all and sundry neighbours, oh, it's quite harmless, adds beauty. And the fact she's had TWO lovers move out in one year is simply Scandalous. Yet her house is for sale right now and the offers are ridiculous. The weeds that flower are doing just fine, as usual.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: anne cameron on June 03, 2006, 01:32:18 AM
It's true, except for buttercup, which can render me to a kind of fury which approaches "temper tantrum" I do not mind "weeds" at all.  I do not try to have a lawn.  Look at all the crap and corruption they try to sell you so you'll have "the best lawn on the block".  Jeez, it's only grass!  I cut mine and that's it.  Wish the moss would take over!  Anything which grows low and spreads is welcome and if it's four-leaf clover so much the better.  People are spending money they could put to much better use just to have a "lawn",  and it's daft.  They fertilize it, weed'n'feed it, waste gallons of water on it so it will grow lush and thick and they can buy a five thousand dollar ride on mower to go out and cut it simply to get it short so they can weed'n'feed it, get it to grow, flood it with water so they can buy expensive gas to ride the mower to cut the grass and go out the next day to encourage it to grow again...people out ruining and wasting perfectly good days digging out dandelion because someone decided the sight of a cheerful yellow flower "ruins" the lawn...my dandelions give me some great salads...the grandgrrrrrls bring me bouquets of dandelions, and they reign in a water glass in the middle of the table, doing the same duty an orchid would do...the "lawn" is supposed to semiologically remind us of the wide open prairie , which is supposed to make us "feel" free and adventurous.  Hard to do when your entire weekend is wasted doing the lawn!!  I love flowers, especially iris and lily and oriental poppy, the first snowdrops are always very welcome.  corby the crow stole the florets off my hyacinths this year and she has swiped the top flowers off the columbine, she often flies around with a flower in her beak, steals them here to take to Juanita who lives on the other side of the kids playground, then comes back with some flower she swiped from Juanita and gives it to me...weeds are like US.  Seems like we manage to survive any kind of crap or corruption, shit, shite, or merde they throw at us, and we're stronger and tougher with each survival episode.  Just because something is barely clinging , weak and whimpering, probably snivelling itself to sleep at night is no reason to decide it is precious and try to pamper it into staying around for a week or two.  There's an absolute gale blowing out there, rain lashing down, ditches full, cold enough for November and there's the brume, doing just fine.  And I've marked out which bushes of it have the red-and-yellow flowers this year.  I'm going to gather some seeds and put them along the fence around the dog yard, I'll have two kinds of brume next year.  I mean if that poor homesick Scottish woman has to get the blame, let's make sure there's a lot of it for her, it might be as close to a reward as the puir wee hen gets.

And yes, love, that is Scots logic.  Not to be confused with the other kind, which actually usually isn't the least bit logical, just useful when explaining corporate interests.

Just got a great report from a guy who has analyzed the paperwork BC Hydro is presenting to back up their claim they need to commit atrocity because we are running out of electricity...turns out their numberwork is seriously flawed...and their entire report is based on error!!  For this kind of shoddy work they get paid huge money.  They're willing to do any kind of environmental nastiness because "we" need the hydro...we'd have a lifetime surplus if they stopped exporting the stuff!  Then California announces they aren't going to pay what they owe, they've decided we're charging too much...and BC Hydro swallowed that, continues to "sell" hydro to them...betcha if I tried the same argument this computer wouldn't work for long.  but the used car lots shine in the dark in la-la land.  ah well.  Or as my grandma Cameron would say och weel...
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: skdadl on June 03, 2006, 06:22:09 AM
Och, weel ...  

There's a Scottish folk song that goes "Oh, the brume, the bonny, bonny brume ..."

And then there's "And we'll all go together, To pick wild mountain thyme, All aroon' the bloomin' heather, Will ye go, lassie, go?"

Better stop. Will be snivelling meself soon.
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: lagatta on June 03, 2006, 08:37:47 AM
True, but I'm feeling a mite sad about the unloved buttercup:


I'm called Little Buttercup — dear Little Buttercup,
Though I could never tell why,
But still I'm called Buttercup — poor little Buttercup,
Sweet Little Buttercup I!

I've snuff and tobaccy, and excellent jacky,
I've scissors, and watches, and knives;
I've ribbons and laces to set off the faces
Of pretty young sweethearts and wives.

I've treacle and toffee, I've tea and I've coffee,
Soft tommy and succulent chops;
I've chickens and conies, and pretty polonies,
And excellent peppermint drops.

Then buy of your Buttercup — dear Little Buttercup;
Sailors should never be shy;
So, buy of your Buttercup — poor Little Buttercup;
Come, of your Buttercup buy!

After all, pissenlit was brought over from Europe, as a useful plant, and many other weeds were either deliberately brought over or hitched a ride...
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: anne cameron on June 03, 2006, 10:12:16 AM
Ohmigawd, dear cat, in grade five our class had to do HMS Pinafore and I was "Buttercup".  A more unlikely casting I can't imagine.  We didnt' have costumes, or makeup, or much of anything else, and we didn't "put it on" for any of the other classes, we just pushed some desks out of the way and let'er rip!  No parents, no other teachers, just the principal (whom we all heartily detested)  We "put it on" several times, with different kids taking parts until we had all had a turn.  The bravest boy I think I ever met actually volunteered to do "Buttercup" when we ran out of girls for the part.  Principal only came to the first performance.  By the time we'd used up all the kids and had done it several times we all knew the words to all the songs.  Then the teacher brought in an LP album and we sat at our desks and sang along with the professionals  One of the few 'fun' memories from school

The ones I attack, assault and destroy are not the same type as the dockside vendor!  I didn't know dandelions were brought here from Europe, but I can understand why they would be, they are excellent in salads and I understand some people cook them, like spinach.

I was living in France and we were on our way to the Jonquil festival and there ahead of us a massive traffic jam.  Stopped, got out to see what the cause of it was and...scores of people clambering up a hillside, excited and yelling, picking brume and taking it back to their cars!!  I asked someone why people were so excited and was told it is considered good luck.   My Grandma Cameron loved it, she didn't "bother" much with flowers but had an enormous vegetable garden (no time for frills, that good woman) but she had brume in her front yard.  Mind you it was trimmed, pruned, and totally controlled, we'll have none of this wanton spreading and invading!
Title: Drought Tolerant Perennials
Post by: Toedancer on April 27, 2010, 11:49:45 PM
My Nasturtiums have come up and I only planted the seeds a week ago today. I couldn't figure out what bulbs I planted, but after the wee rains I finally figured out they are the allium bulbs, hope they do w/o much water. Going to Sale on May 1st to get a rain barrel, City is providing (for a cost of course).