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Suggested perennial for hot dry border

andrewnewtonandrewnewton Posts: 155
edited March 2022 in Plants
I'm looking for suggestions please for a perennial to add a bit of height and colour to a South facing sandy border that is very dry.  The area is between two mature Corsican Pines that in addition to sucking up moisture drop vast amounts of pine needles. There are some native dogwoods that don't seem bothered by the conditions so I let them form a screen at the back of the border  I have managed to get Achillea to grow along with bearded iris at the front of the bed but looking for a bit of height and colour to fill the space.
I'm not looking to add vast amounts of organic matter but trying to go with the conditions I've got nor spend time throwing water on.
Advice / suggestions appreciated please


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,998
    One of the euphorbias? Wulfenii or Robbiae will both cope with dryness - robbiae is a bit tougher and will take more shade. It can get thuggish if it's too comfortable but in your conditions it probably won't
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,265
    I am surprised that the dogwoods have done so well as they like a moist soil .Are they away from the tree canopy? Geranium Macrorrhizum and G Phaum could be worth a try. The soil could be acidic which is worth considering when choosing plants.
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126
    Gaura would probably be happy there.
    I've got one self sown onto about 3" of gravel with concrete beneath and facing south. It gets to about 2ft each year and flowers from June till the frosts. It's in its 3rd year now and just coming into growth.
    Others in the garden get to about 4ft. They prefer poor soil.
    I grew them from seed and they flowered first year - Gaura The Bride

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Sisyrinchium Striatum, Centranthus Ruber & Baptisia Australis do well in those conditions.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,045
    edited March 2022
    Perovskia and Salvia are both drought tolerant, sun loving and happy in free draining, sandy soil.  They will add height and colour to your border.  Water until they become established, then they should cope unaided.  There's also a drought tolerant grass, Panicum virgatum which would make a good addition to your planting.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,474
    So well-drained sandy soil, sunny position and must be drought tolerant once established? I’m inland and upland with different conditions, but plants I see growing near the coast in dry sandy conditions and seemingly never watered include - agapanthus, sedums (the taller spectabilis types are now called hylotelephium), lantana, various asters. Borage, asphodels and verbascum on roadsides and field margins and definitely never watered apart from rain. I’m sure there are loads more but that’s off the top of my head.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. It's been really helpful in compiling a plant list for the next time I visit the nursery
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,474
    Beth Chatto’s dry gravel garden might have further ideas:
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Nollie said:
    Beth Chatto’s dry gravel garden might have further ideas:
    Thanks for that. Very useful site 👍
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