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Having An Attractive Flower Garden During Dry Periods - Part 2
Dorothy - 6/3/98

Hardy plants that cope with dryness - information from Jocelyn Thorpe. You will probably want to read Part 1 if you have not already...

Jocelyn Thorpe at the Merivale Garden Centre holds a mixed bowl of hardy plants.
Jocelyn Thorpe at the Merivale Garden Centre holds a mixed bowl of hardy plants.
Last week Jocelyn suggested low growing plants that can withstand very dry conditions. This week she has given us a list of mid-border plants - those of medium height.


Name Description Flower Colour
Achillea Tough wiry grey-green leaves. Most varieties except "The Pearl" have big flat flower clusters. 30cm to 60cm. Full sun. Strong and pastel colours
Anthemis "E. C. Buxton" Dark green, fine leaves, daisy like flowers. 45cm. Sun. Lemon
Anthemis cupiana Greyer leaves, mounding habit. 30 cm. White
Astelia NZ native, stiff silvery green, spear-like leaves. Great in large pots. 45 to 60 cm.  
Centaurea Montana (Perennial cornflower) Long oval greyish leaves. Sun or part shade. Long flowering. 45cm Blue, white
Echinacea (Coneflower) Pointed green leaves. 45 cm or more in good soil. Sun Strong pink or white petals
Coreopsis varieties Coreopsis "moonbeam" has green needle-like leaves up to 60 cm. Sun. Lemon, others yellow
Echium Annual. Hardy greyish-green hairy leaves, with bushy habit. 30cm. Sun. Blue and pink
Erigeron varieties Oval leaves, profusion of daisy-like flowers. Full sun, dry soil including sand. 30 cm. Lavender, mauve, pink
Erigeron Karvinskianus (Seaside Daisy) Now cannot be sold in NZ garden centres.  
Felicia Small thick leaves. Variegated form available. Perpetual daisy-like flowers. 30 cm. Sun. Needs some protection from frost. Blue
Hellebore varieties (Winter Rose) Excellent in dry shade. Hellebore "White Magic" (NZ hybrid) has white upright flowers in winter. 30 cm. White, pink, green and purple
Hemerocallis varieties Green strap-like leaves, short-lived lily-like flowers borne in profusion all summer. Sun. 45cm plus, some taller. Yellow, lemon, orange, cream, red
Iris Many types. Sun essential for all irises to flower. Range of heights from 30 cm up to 1 metre. Huge variety of colours - in spring.
Iris unguicularis Flowers in winter. Sun essential. Blue and white
Relatives of the Iris Dierama (Fairy Bells)
curving flower spikes, 1 metre.
Libertia (NZ native)
Bronze foliage, three-petalled flowers, 30 cm.
Three-petalled flowers all summer. 45 cm.



Blue, red and white

Lavender Most varieties hardy to frost, but Lavandula dentata and sidonie are not. Several narrow leaved forms
(L. angustifolia) are best for drying and for oil. Sun and annual pruning essential. 45-60 cm plus.
Mauve, purple, white, pink, red
Lychnis Coronaria Felted grey leaves. Thrives only in dry sandy soils, i.e. dies in rich shaded soil. 45-60 cm. Crimson, pink, white
Malva Sylvestris Primley Blue (Mallow) Stems sometimes floppy. Long flowering. 45 cm. Blue
Reseda Alba 'Mignonette' Narrow leaves. Spires of small flowers on strong sprawling stems. Any soil. 45 cm. Cream
Penstemon Comes in small, medium and tall varieties. most are hardy, preferring dryish soils. Many colours including blue and purple
Salvia Comes in small, medium and tall varieties. Large family with aromatic leaves and medicinal uses. Some are frost tender and brittle in wind. Salvia officianalis is the herb sage.
S. farinacea is an annual. S. uliginosa is the toughest and flowers all summer, but is invasive unless restrained.
Many colours
Silene Some varieties like shade. Tough and long flowering. Small flowers. Pink, orange, white
Erysimum and Cheiranthus
(Wall flower)
Comes in small and medium varieties. Tough with narrow leaves and scented flowers. Sometimes winter flowering. Cream, yellow, reddish brown.
Erysimum Bowles Can spread to 1 metre. Mauve

Ring Jocelyn at the Merivale Garden Centre or call in or write if you want further advice or wish to purchase any of these plants. If she does not have them in stock she will order them for you.

You will find that there are no problems communicating with her.

Merivale Garden Centre
158 Leinster Road
Christchurch 1.
Telephone 355-8507

Do use the Backchat facility to add your ideas to these.

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