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Specialty Gardening: What Can't You Live Without?

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Forum: Specialty GardeningReplies: 21, Views: 320
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San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 2, 2010
4:55 PM

Post #7853228

So, I'm mainly curious, as this is the first year I've attempted xeriscape gardening. If there was only one plant that you could have in your xeriscape garden, which plant would that be? What's that one plant that your garden would not be without?
Chandler, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 2, 2010
5:25 PM

Post #7853340

For me, it's easy. Would have to be at least one species of ocotillo!
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 2, 2010
7:14 PM

Post #7853638

Very tough for me to pick just one...but it would probably be Caesalpinia gilliesii. Chilopsis linearis would be a close runner-up.
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 2, 2010
8:27 PM

Post #7853862

tough to pick only one plant--medicinal aloe > elephant's food> iceplants
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

June 8, 2010
2:34 PM

Post #7870497

Either Manzanita or a groundcover.
Centennial, CO
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2010
8:39 PM

Post #7883423

Gaillardia - so much color, so little care.
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 15, 2010
6:10 PM

Post #7891888

Thanks for the input. I have two aloes that have been part of my garden forever. I love them - and you cannot kill them. Now, if I could get both of them to bloom in one season, that would be the best.


Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

June 19, 2010
4:26 PM

Post #7903600

Pineleaf penstemon & any native shrub with berries for the birds.
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 20, 2010
10:43 PM

Post #7906713

Catalpa and Chilpsis linear, and Chitalpa, baccaris, and Attiplex Canescense.
Colorado Springs, CO

June 23, 2010
2:00 PM

Post #7914177

Russian Sage for me!
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 26, 2010
9:45 PM

Post #7923830

Just don't say Russian Thistle. Whatever brain child decided to bring that here, should have been forced to weed the Mojave Desert the rest of his life.
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2010
10:12 AM

Post #7938023

We're still doing it hellnzn11. We still find plants in other parts of the world that we like and bring them here because they should grow well. Seems every generation learns the lesson.

BTW, the Russian Sage I see planted here looks too much like Russian Thistle to me. Its a nice plant and I like the purple flowers, but I'm not going to plant it.
Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 3, 2010
10:03 PM

Post #7941746

rmbol. You'd think wouldn't you. We see what we like and just want to mimic it. Doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes stuff that is invasive over there on mars, is pretty but on another planet, it is lovely and well behaved.
Colorado Springs, CO

July 6, 2010
6:04 AM

Post #7946777

I have had Russian Sage for 6 years now, grows about 5 feet tall with beautiful foilage, beautiful purple flowers, and has yet to show me any invasions in my yard.
Claremont, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 12, 2010
11:22 AM

Post #7962817

Salvias! Most are drought-tolerant, they bloom at different times of the year (so something is always happening), most smell good, and the hummers love them.

Cleveland Sage is probably my favorite, if I had to choose one. Glowing blue and smells good from a mile away.

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Rosamond, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 20, 2010
9:51 PM

Post #7984954

Here they do well, but in the Winter, many don't survive the cold here in the high desert. Greggii does well and one or two others can do well if protected.
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

July 21, 2010
2:20 PM

Post #7986437

Pachyphylla does fine here (zone 7b).
Hanceville, AL
(Zone 7a)

June 30, 2013
5:55 PM

Post #9580725

God, and my soul. Luciee {;^)
Arlington, TX

July 20, 2013
5:07 AM

Post #9605801

Can pineleaf penstemon take intense heat?


Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 20, 2013
7:53 PM

Post #9606614

Yes, I would say Pineleaf Penstemon can take intense heat. It is native to southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona. The surprise is that it can take cold - it does pretty well in Colorado, even in Zone 4. Here in Pueblo, winter is zone 5, summer temps hit the 100's. I don't have it growing against a south or west wall - but I do have some growing in rocks in full sun. In my garden group's Xeriscape Demo garden, we have some on a gradual slope facing roughly southwest & mulched with gravel.
Los Angeles, CA

February 14, 2015
2:54 PM

Post #10022612

Anything for hummers and berries for birds.
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 14, 2015
7:29 AM

Post #10036743

Thanks for all the feedback. Planted Russian sage. Love it. Bloomed all season long, maybe up to November. Since I started this post, I had moved, and had to start my garden from scratch. I am on the five year plan working one space of the garden each year. The front has a bed of purple trailing verbena. The back will have its second bed along the patio this spring.

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