Talkback: Preparing for drought in the garden

happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591
Driest we've been in Bristol since 1976 so I am going to be careful about which plants I grow. Mediterranean type plants like lavender and rosemary and the grey-leaved ones are fine. I will have a good look at the Botanic Garden. Their South African plants like osteospermums seem to fare well in drought conditions. My five rainwater butts are all full after the winter but will be needed for my vegetables and flowers for cutting in my new raised bed potager. Murphy's Law decreed that we should have a drought when I had it built!


  • Luckily here in Bournemouth we have never had a hosepipe ban not even in 1976, but I have always been careful with water, I've got four water butts, two of which are plastic dustbins with their lids turned upside down with holes in, and I try to grow plants that don't need a lot of water. I don't use the hosepipe too often and I never waste water watering the lawn to try and keep it green because how ever brown it gets it always comes back green in the end.

  • I really like donutmrs idea for waterbutts definitely one I shall be pinching!!
  • We could always blame the weather man like we do in the summer when they get it wrong.
  • From tonights TV news it does look as if there will be a hosepipe ban in my area. So, when it comes to summer bedding I think sun loving pelargoniums (zonal geraniums) will be featuring highly in my selection.

    I'm also following happymarion's idea and growing those beautiful daisy-flowered osteospermums.

    What else? Succulents like aeoniums. Mediterranean herbs. More suggestions please.
  • AliPAliP Posts: 64

    <span id="sample-permalink">I've just done a post about this on my blog as it will be effecting so many of us.  I'm in the early stages of developing a new garden having moved house and plants that can really tolerate dry conditions are going to be high up on my wish list! Perhaps I should forget a traditional lawn and go for a wildflower one instead?

  • hiya,, whats your thought on automatic garden irrigation systems?,, i've put down a main feed using 13mm pipe then sprung off using 6mm pipe to hanging baskets&tubs also raised boarders will get a supply of water from micro sprinklers,, cheers,,
  • DinahDinah Posts: 278

    Where I am living (North Coast of Ireland) we often get a drought in early to mid spring. The rest of the year the problem is usually too much water! I live half way up a mountain, and the results of drought are quite frightening. Last year, a spate of mountain fires did a great deal of damage to areas of Scientific interest both inland and along the coast. Our latest big fire eat up half of the mountain, igniting heather, gorse, and the underlying peat layers. In mountain areas like ours the fire brigade can't reach these fires with their equipment. My husband spent six and a half hours putting out a fire that would have extended the length of a town's high street! It is foolish to tackle such fires unless you have lots of experience, which fortunately he had already acquired while living in Africa. The most deadly aspect of such fires is during high and changeable winds, but even in calm conditions smoke inhalation is always a danger. The best way to deal with a mountain or scrub land fire is to prevent it from starting in the first place. In wild areas people should be extra sensitive to the possibility of inadvertently starting fires during drought - and be awaire that drought can occur at any time of year including winter! Remember that this is the time of year when dead grasses, leaves and heathers are in abundance. Roadside barbecues, or lighted cigarette ends carelessly tossed out of the car window can start fires, and if you live on the edge of such land you need to be extra careful that your garden fire does not spark nearby hedges etc. Farmers, too, need to resist the temptation to burn scrub land in order to clear it for grazing or agricultural use during general conditions of drought.

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    Adam, succulents are a good idea.  Graptopetalums ( the Ghost Plant) go well with pelargoniums and are so easy to propagate from a leaf.  See picture of mine ready to give me dozens.


  • Spare a thought for gardeners in the West of Scotland who have had to deal with a deluge that started last April and hasn't stopped since. No publicity for us! I have lost a lot of plants to extreme wet and the slugs have taken full advantage of the constant damp and relatively mild winter to just keep going

    We could start selling you water of course but best thing to is to get everyone to adopt your water saving measures.
  • I love pelargoniums but, since watching Sarah Raven's Bees, Butterflies and Blooms have renewed my vow to make an effort to plant wildlife friendly plants and bedding. There seems to be a dilemma: annuals and bedding need to be watered regularly. Can we be wildlife friendly and save water? Mulching is difficult between annual plants, newly planted trees and shrubs MUST be watered (planting in Autumn is probably the answer there) veg and salad need water....... another gardeners' challenge! What is the answer?
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