The Water-wise But Colorful Garden

Bougainvillea bush

Create a lush garden with these drought-tolerant, easy-to-grow plants. Once established in your garden, they require only a little water.

Angelonia: Sometimes called summer snapdragons because the flowers look like smaller versions of snapdragons, these garden beauties love the hot summer sun. They grow 12 to 15 inches tall and bloom in several colors late spring to fall. They’re great for garden beds and containers.

Bougainvillea bush: This compact bush type of bougainvillea is perfect for small spaces or pots. It forms a 3- to 4-foot mound and blooms almost year-round.

California wild lilac: These evergreen shrubs grow 5 to 12 feet tall and wide, depending on variety. In early spring, they’re covered with blue flowers.

Daylily: These bulletproof perennials have showy flowers from spring to fall on top of grass-like foliage. They grow from 1 to 4 feet in many hues, including yellow, orange, pink, salmon, burgundy, red and purple. There also are many multicolored varieties. Plant them in sun to partial shade.

Guara: Although they look delicate, these graceful, airy perennials are quite hardy. Sometimes they are called whirling butterflies, because of the shape of their flowers and the way they dance in the wind. They grow to 3 to 4 feet tall, and their dainty flowers appear late spring to fall.

Kohuhu: Grown for its attractive leaves and colorful stems, Kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium) is an elegant shrub with a fine texture. Plant it in full sun to partial shade. It grows 8 to 15 feet, depending on the variety.

Lantana: Butterflies and hummingbirds love this perennial that thrives in the heat. Choose from orange, red, yellow, pink, lavender, white and many multicolored varieties. They also range in size from taller, mounding bushes to trailing varieties that can be used as groundcover. In mild climates, they flower year-round. Plant in full sun and give them room to spread.

Lavender: Known for its wonderfully scented leaves and flowers, lavender grows 1 to 3 feet tall and wide and blooms from late spring into fall.

Little John callistemon: Bristle-like flowers bloom in spring, fall and winter on this compact, 3-foot, mounded shrub. Plant in full sun.

Orchid rockrose: Plant in full sun and this shrub will grow up to 4 feet tall and wide with poppy-like flowers that bloom from late spring through summer.

Penstemon: Spikes of tubular-shaped blooms flower from late spring through summer on this perennial plant that grows 1 to 2 feet tall.

Phormium: Colorful foliage (from solid burgundy to variegated greens and yellows) makes these plants impressive in garden beds and containers. Plant them in full sun to partial shade. They benefit from drip irrigation if they are in containers.

Russian sage: When in bloom, Russian sage (Perovskia) has clouds of lavender/purple flowers. This heat-loving perennial grows to 4 feet and flowers nonstop summer through fall. Plant them in full sun.

Sage/salvia: This beautiful garden plant comes in many forms, from the edible herb to the blooming perennial, and grows anywhere from 2 to 6 feet tall. They are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds and bloom spring through fall. Plant them in full sun.

Statice: Statice (Limonium perezii) is an indestructible perennial that naturalizes near the coast. It grows 3 feet tall and flowers spring to fall. Its flowers are among the best for drying, and they are long-lasting as cut flowers.

Sweet pea shrub: These tidy shrubs that grow 3 feet tall and wide bloom most of the year with flowers that are great for cutting. Plant sweet pea shrub (Polygala) in sun or light shade.

Yarrow: Butterflies love the blooms on these perennials. Available in a wide range of colors, they bloom summer into fall and are great as cuttings in floral arrangements. They grow 2 to 3 feet tall.



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Categories: Gardening