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What to plant for drought

Have a south facing baked and drought plagued front garden in Summer that is exposed to wind and frost in Winter. What can i plant down the front border adjacent to the drive way, low growing that will survive these conditions and give colour and interest ? preferably perennial. Am in south Oxfordshire so chalky soil not far from the Ridgeway.
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  • https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=397

    I've made use of this page previously. It's helpful.
  • Thank you
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,471
    Artemisia would give you evergreen, silvery foliage all year -
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/63065/Artemisia-stelleriana-Boughton-Silver/Details

    Eryngium such as Dove Cottage would give you steely blue colour in summer - 
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/254104/Eryngium-Dove-Cottage-hybrid/Details and Eryngium serbicum is a deeper blue and evergreen - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/132462/Eryngium-serbicum/Details

    For late season colour and nectar for polllinators you could try sedum spectabile which has recently had a name change thanks to the taxonomists - 
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/356989/i-Hylotelephium-spectabile-i-Brilliant-Group/Details 

    I expect several kinds of euphorbia would like it too but you do have to be careful about getting the ap on your skin or in your eyes as it can burn.  They also spread when happy.
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/240657/Euphorbia-x-martini-Helen-Robinson/Details 

    Whatever you decide on, do make sure to improve the soil by forking in generous amounts of well-rotted manure t improve fertility and water retention.  Water the plants well before and after planting and then give them a mulch to help retain moisture while they establish themselves.   Autumn and spring are the best times to plant.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,238
    You cannot go wrong with Erigeron Karvinskianus. There is a lovely low growing alpine Achillea x Lewisii called King Edward. Also worth trying Parahebe Catarractae 'Porlock', I think hardy enough for your area. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,471
    Those are crackers Borderline.  I've been looking for drought tolerant plants for here and haven't come across the achillea x lewisii so that's gone on the list.

    I've been looking for the parahebe but no luck so far.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520
    I had that Parahebe in my garden round the corner. They're surprisingly tough  :)

    I've been considering get more of them - it's a shame they're not more widely grown. They're lovely little plants.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 465
    Another vote for Erigeron Karvinskianus.  If it can grow wild all over in Texas scorching summers with no care or rain for months, it can survive anything short of a forest fire.  LOL
    My low-carb recipe site:www.buttoni.wordpress.com
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,238
    edited September 2019
    Another plant that beats Erigeron Karvinskianus for flowering more months of the year, Rosmarinus Officinalis Prostratus. A far more delicate looking plant. Smaller and a slow grower. Literally thrives on nothing, provided the soil is free draining with plenty of sun. Last year, it flowered eleven months of the year. A good plant for exposed areas.

    Sea Thrift, Armeria Maritima and some alpine varieties also do fine in very little water. All evergreen too.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,917
    Santolina and creeping thyme survive well in hot, dry conditions. Purple and variegated sage also do well in these conditions.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,727
    I would imagine most Mediterranean-style plants would do fairly wet as they stand up to cold but not standing in wet - lavender, thyme, rosemary, bay - things you find on a stony hillside.
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