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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Future proof your garden - my top 5 drought tolerant plants

With parts of the UK due to hit 41C today, an all time record - we really need to adapt our planting to cope with the heat and lack of water. Drought tolerant plants have developed adaptations to help them conserve water and stay cool in the heat, like glaucous or hairy leaves and silver grey colouring.

Here's my top 5 drought tolerant plants.

  1. Lavandula angustifolia

The obvious choice for a drought tolerant garden is Lavender, which thrives in poor soil and needs very little water. If planting into clay soil it is essential to dig in some horticultural grit to improve drainage and ensure that the Lavender can get through a British (wet) winter. In fact this applies to all these plants which need a free draining soil.

2. Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'

Salvias are very happy in a hot dry spot and will flower through from June - October if you keep deadheading.

3. Cistus x hybridus

Cistus or 'rock rose' is a lovely evergreen shrub with white flowers with a bright yellow centre. Again they love it dry and sunny in poor soil.

4. Erigeron karvinskianus

A favourite in most of my planting designs this free flowering ground cover plant will tolerate drought and self seeds freely into cracks and crevices. Perfect for softening hard landscape edges.

5. Wildflower turf

I designed a my first garden with wildflower turf this year and I'm really pleased with the results. A wildflower lawn with be much more resilient to drought and provides an ever changing tapestry of colour which only requires cutting once a year.

Surely this is a sensible future option for our parks and gardens?

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