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I loved Gourd's pics of the Gaillardias and thought maybe we could get more folks to start posting pics of their drylanders. I'm definitely on the colder side compared to most of the folks I see posting here but thought I'd post pics of a few of the combos that are doing well this year.
Thanks... here's some grasses in front of aloes.. I'm in a low desert area and get frosts at night in winter, and very hot in the summer time.. sometimes to 117 degrees.. This photo is after the Aloe's bloomed
I love your photos there, what a difference in our drought tolerant plants. We could make some great combos here. I don't know if you can see some of the areas that we have as far as gardening here.. the 2+ acres are broken down into sections and it is difficult to give you a good photo. This is at the end of our land (all weeds).. a whole acre full of them/ weeds and grasses..
i have to find the other photos of some of the sections, now with this heat all of the green there is dried and all brown.
The Echiums do well here too.. this is the first year for them here.. these are the blue ones, but have some white, red, that will bloom next year or late fall, some lavendar and blue that have bloomed recently...
Wow, both of you have great pics - thanks for the inspiration!
Gourd, I think the red/orange flowers (Ally, *please* correct me if I'm wrong) are Penstemon eatonii aka Firecracker Penstemon - here in Phoenix they're early (Feb?) spring plants. BTW, the orange Bulbines are raised here in the Phx area by Mountain States - if you go to their site: http://www.mswn.com/index2.htm and hit the "Plant Sources" button, you can find a listing of places that carry their plants and who can order them for you.
Ally_UT - so glad you mentioned how "brown and tawny" plants (even zeric ones) can get here when the temps go bove 100, which has been nearly every day this last week. My back zeric garden looked fabulous last year and this it looks as if someone sprayed it with growth retardant! i am trying all sorts of different watering techniques, digging into the soil around the worst plants to see what's up in there, and mulching like crazy. At this point I am just holding on until cooler temps. I think we are going to be another Phoenix in a few years if this keeps up. Any new plants that resist the heat?
I planted two Artemisia abrotanum 'Tangerine' with mixed results. One gets very tall (4ft) - forget about the description in High Country Gardens "nice mounding shape" - mine is pretty rangy looking. With really hot weather it browns out. The other i chopped down to nothing in the fall and looks pretty good: much brighter color with lots of yellow varigation.
I just wrote this big thing and got bumped off before I could send it. I started coveringup my newer less established plants last year from the bad heat until they are more established and this year did not have to cover up those plants WITH GREEN SHADE CLOTH and you can water through it and plants get O2 and light as well. This year other plants started burning or browning so now I am covering them up too, its ugly but I need to save what I can because we also are losing stuff to gophers. Global warming or a bad year?
Hello Idvogt, good to see another Rocky Mnt. gardener here. Yes even xeric plants have a struggle with the type of weather we've been having that past few weeks. This time of year instead of no supplemental water my dryland plant get a good soak every 5 to 7 days. Well, most of them anyway. There are a few plants that I grow that really don't need any supplemental water and will turn brown if they receive too much. I'm fascinated by the ability of our native plants to survive. I learn so much each passing year as I try new things.
May I ask what type of mulch you are using for your plants that aren't doing as well? My concern here would be that perhaps you are using an organic mulch around plants like Penstemon. There are Penstemon that like more organic/mesic growing conditions(Whipple's, P. digitalis), but those that are xeric tend to prefer leaner soils and non-organic(rock) mulch. Agastache rupestris, Hesperaloe parviflora, Salvia daghestanica, Stanley pinnata, Baileya multiradiata, Melampodium leucanthum, Eriogonum, etc. etc. also dislike organic mulch.
My back xeric/dryland bed looks a bit bedraggled this year too. I had a clump of melampodium leucanthum die on me so I have a large bare spot that I never got around to filling this spring. The "Cheyenne" privets that have never done well suffer from the heat and are ravaged by bugs. I really need to dig them out and replace them with something more suitable. However the Agastache, Genista, Penstemon, Hesperaloe, Zauchneria, Fescue, Helictotrichon, Baileya and cacti look pretty good.
No Artemisia here. I haven't grown any for a couple of years. I had some silver mound that finally died and I just never got around to trying the taller varieties. I may have to give some a try if they can stand up to the heat in Feeniks(grin).
Shade cloth is also a "good thing" as martha would say. I have a small shade structure that I keep all of my unplanted plants and seedlings under. It helps reduce the mortality rate greatly. I'm a firm believer that Global warming is something we will be dealing with sooner than later. But it has been a rather weird weather year and the bugs have been brutal. I don't have gophers but I'm overrun with earwigs, bill bugs and ants oh my.
I had hoped that folks would chime in about which plants look good through the hottest part of the year. Those plants that will bloom or have nice foliage that doesn't brown/scorch or wilt in 100 plus temps. Here in my yard the list grows each year as I try new things. A couple of my stand bys are Mirabilis multiflora, Baileya multiradiata, Zinnia grandiflora, Zauchneria arizonica, Abronia fragrans, Melampodium leuchanthum(when it doesn't die), Salvia greggii, Penstemon rostriflorus, Agastache rupestris, A. "Desert sunrise" , Glaucium. and Centranthus ruber. What are some other plants that you all have had success with?
Ally_ut, et al: thanks for the advice. I have been watering deeply once a week, maybe a touch more often if there has been no break in the heat. My penstemon palmeri is, of course, happy as always with no supplemental water and all the heat (its stems are more like small branches and it covers about 4 ft), and the Apache Plume, lavenders, agastache, salvia are fine. I have not mulched them being too cheap to invest in crushed gravel. The other plants in my less-than-xeric-but-still-low-water gardens have a mix of dried grass clippings, composted manure, ground bark mulch. You are right: just too hot right now. I am always amazed at how well my old rose Zephrine Drouhin does - she is planted close to the deck and gets the drips from my patio pots but other than that grows gracefully throughout the hottest days.
I am going to investigate the plants you suggested and take a pic of a couple of mystery plants i picked up a few years ago. I have a penstemon i have never seen anywhere else and a low growing subshurb like salvia, i think, that are doing fabulously well but i have no idea what they really are.
I hear we are in for a weather break next week!