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Any suggestions for drought tolerant plants that can add a little height at the back of a border?



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,835
    Alliums too  :)
    If you add some spring bulbs, that will give you a longer season of interest too, especially if you don't want to add any, or very many, evergreens. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 574
    I really like Macleaya microcarpa and/or cordata, they cope very well with poor soil and dry conditions, and look quite majestic. However, they do spread. I enjoyed them for a few years, then took them out.

  • Swooping SwallowSwooping Swallow Posts: 24
    edited 22 July
    Thanks very much for the suggestions. I'm looking into them now.  

    As promised, here's a picture of the border in question. There's not much to see! The plant on the left is a Stachys that I have temporarily heeled in until I've decided where to put it. Planted so far are 3 Calamagrostis Karl Foerster, 1 Verbena bonariensis, 1 Gaura and 1 Perovskia. The photo makes it look as if they're planted too close to one another, but the distancing has been worked out so that they just touch when full grown, although exactly how big a plant grows depends on numerous factors. The soil is very sandy (dusty even), so I doubt  they'll achieve the dimensions usually quoted. I visited Wisley last year and was amazed at their prairie border, which had the largest Perovskia's etc I've ever seen. Apparently, they'd all been given the Chelsea chop and no water, but the RHS genius managed to produced the lushest border.       

    I'm a little confused by some suggestions. Heleniums, for example, are generally said to prefer moist, humus rich soil. The border certainly has organic matter in it, but it is as dry as a bone at the best of times.  
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,470
    Heleniums don't thrive on my dry sandy soil. I tried once and they made a half-hearted attempt at flowering the first year, and then turned up their toes and died.
    For reference my perovskia is about 3 to 4 feet tall at the moment.
    Another thought - Teucriums do very well for me, both the shrubby T. fruticans and the herbaceous ones.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,835
    edited 22 July
    Interesting. I have a helenium which is right in the corner between the original house wall and the wall of the new extension. Poorish soil as it was a raised bed created so that I could grow plants which like drier, sunnier conditions. Difficult to get enough beds and borders of that kind here. Never gets watered, and although it's in the direct line of the rain, it's site [under the eaves] also means it's pretty dry in there. There's Fennel next to it too. [the clem is in a pot]
    I took this a few days ago - it was divided last year so this is only half of it, and this is only part of the clump. Not a great pic, but you get the idea.

    Found a better pic

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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