Monday, May 28, 2012

How to help your garden handle extreme temperature: Part 2


As today brings another hot day here in Indiana I wanted to talk a bit more about drought resistant gardening.  In Southern Indiana we are experiencing a horrible dry spell and I am in full battle mode not to loose my precious shrubs and trees.  Today I doing the second post about Extreme Gardening.... if you missed the first one see it here....

Here is my driveway plantings.... they are 3 years old this fall.  It is a completely drought resistant garden and until 9 pm last night it has never been watered.  (Except maybe when it was originally planted.)

But with the purchase of an additional hose, I watered out here last night.   And I will again until it cools down from the high 90's.  One thing that has been bothering me so much is the dust from the road.  My plants were just covered in dust.  When plants are like that, they cannot breathe.  They were already stressed, but the layer of dust was not helping either.  It is part of living on a gravel road and dust travels across my yard and into the house if the windows are open when it is dry like this.  

But this is the first thing you see when you come here.  It says 'A Gardener Lives Here'.  And even though I have thousands of lovely plants, this is all most of my neighbors will ever see or notice.  So I try to keep it looking as nice as possible.  

My mail ladies love this area, I get comments often on what is blooming that day.

So what did I plant to make it a "Drought Resistant Garden?"   Cheap seeds like Blanket Flowers, Yarrow, Broad Leaf Coreopsis and Marigolds.  Yep, did most of this from seed.  And add a few new things every fall.  These things can handle extreme heat once established.  And on a regular spring and early summer we would have more than enough rain to help them thrive.  But this has been anything but a normal season.  And I would like to say this is unheard of, but it is not.  We do get extreme heat and humidity here in Southern Indiana, we are just not use to it in May.  My grass is burn up, literally it is brown and crunching when you walk on it.  I cannot water all 7 acres we mow... but I am doing my best to keep all the plantings looking good.

What else is out there.......Sedums, sedums, sedums.... I can never have enough.  Just broke off pieces from starts and placed them directly into the ground and they rooted.  Simple as that, I love sedums.

Stella De' Oro daylilies... you either love them or hate them.  But they were given to me and they do so well out there and bloom again later in the summer.  Sometimes you just have to go with what works.  Grasses are fantastic in this area as well.  They give me height and movement.

Yellow Sunny Knockout rose, spireas, variegated monkey grass and misc evergreens that were on clearance for less than $3 each that fall when I planted them.  

So was this a big money project?  Not in the least.  But it was well worth it.  And if we get even a bit of rain each week I never touch it except to weed and deadhead.  It really is carefree, but that does not mean left to fend on its own.  

Just like your pets and animals, take some time today to go check on your landscape to see how it is handling this heat.  And please refrain from planting new plants until our water table in the ground is back to a normal level.  They are better off in a container in a shady spot you can manage them in.

Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Gardening....Brooke

Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes
Jami's An Oregon Cottage's Tuesday Garden Party
"Ms Green Thumb" Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday


  1. You are simply amazing with your plants. I hate the dust on my plants as well. It makes the blooms droop and look dirty.


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