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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Best plants for Summer drought and Winter wet

After one of the driest and hottest Summers on record, which is likely to be followed by a wet Autumn/Winter, we've all paid the price with plant failures this year.

With London (and most of the UK) now facing a protracted hosepipe ban, it's important that we re-assess what we plant in our gardens to ensure that our plants will endure not only hot, dry Summers but also wet Winters.


The RHS compiled a list of plants in 2015 which tolerate both these conditions quite well, using AGM species where possible https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/pdfs/plants-tolerant-of-both-wet-and-dry-soils.pdf


From my experience this year, these are the plants which I think have tolerated both of these conditions well.


  1. Erigeron karvinskianus


A great long flowering, ground cover plant. I can go a bit brown in very dry conditions but can recover with minimal watering. Some of the leaves remain in London gardens all year round.


2. Choisya ternata



This evergreen shrubs looks (and smells) fantastic. With fragrant white flowers in May and if deadheaded again later in the season, it looks great in drought or wet.


3. Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price'


Fairly unassuming throughout the Summer, evergreen Viburnum tinus comes into it's own in the Winter with a profusion of white/pink fragrant flowers.


4. Persicaria affinis 'Superba'

This fabulous ground cover plants has an abundance of pink flowers through Summer into Autumn. Although some of the leaves do go brown in the Winter, in bounces back in the Spring.


5. Calamagrostis brachytricha

This fantastic grass comes into it's own in late Summer with dusky pink seed heads which I leave on until the following Spring. It has survived drought conditions in this challenging communal garden and is looking fabulous.


I'll be continuing this series of future proof plants to help you plan your gardens for a climate changed future. Look out for future additions.






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