Drought Tolerant Plants need less water

Photo credit: CJAD

The August long weekend is nearly here and no doubt you have big plans to weed and water your garden with your precious time off.  What a silly idea.  No one plans to stand at the end of a hose applying water to their plants when they can be doing something more useful and/or fun.

Use Less Water: Plant Drought Tolerant Plants

by Mark Cullen

Here is a list of my five favourite plants that require minimal moisture.  Note that you can plant any of these now and you will find a wide assortment of them at full service garden centres everywhere.  Note that everything you plant will require watering for the first few weeks after planting.

 

  1. Geraniums.  The annual flowering plants that you grow in window boxes and in your garden bloom all summer and basically made the Germans famous as gardeners.  It has been said that if you took all of the geranium-planted window boxes in Germany and put them end to end they would circle the globe 4 times (this has yet to be verified, but it is a good story).  Visit Germany, see for yourself.

While among the most prolific flowering plants on the planet they are also quite tolerant of extended periods of drought.  Not ‘bone dry’ drought but the kind of dryness that occurs when you leave for an extended weekend and return to an otherwise wilted garden.  There are the geraniums, blooming away and standing more or less as they should.  Not so petunias, New Guinea impatiens or a host of other annuals.

  1. The other geraniums.  The above mentioned geraniums are not geraniums at all, they are members of the genus Pelargonium.  Someone thought it would be fun to confuse us by attaching a common name that has nothing to do with the official classification.  Alas, ‘confusing you’ will never happen when you are in my capable hands.

The real geranium (Geranium spp.) is a perennial garden performer and I love it.  When people ask me how to grow grass under their Norway Maple (which is nearly impossible) I ask them if they would consider planting perennial geraniums instead.  It is a great low growing, perennial flowering ground cover or rockery plant and all members of the family tolerate dryness.

  1. Echinacea.  The stuff that you ingest when you feel a cold coming on is derived from the root of a native plant by the same name. The common name is ‘purple cone flower’.  The original species is purple, it produces ‘cones’ while flowering that are loaded with pollen and (later in the season) seeds.  Butterflies forage on the pollen in droves and gold finches harvest the seeds throughout fall and winter.

 

Read the full article: CJAD

 

How to make your home a private oasis

Photo credit: Press Banner

The Mountain Gardener: Screen your neighbor with Low Water Use Plants

by Jan Nelson

We all enjoy privacy around our homes. Even if you’re best friends with your neighbor you don’t always want to wave at them each morning in your robe.

Whether you have a property tucked way back in the forest with a next door neighbor that looks right down on your deck or a postage stamp size lot that could be an jewel if you just had a screen between you and the next property, there are techniques designers use to make your home a private oasis.

Narrow spaces can be challenging when you need to screen the house next door. There’s not room for a big, evergreen tree or hedge to solve the problem. One way is to use plants that can be espaliered against a fence or trellis.

Some plants like Azara microphylla naturally grow flat without much coaxing on your part. This small dainty tree is fast growing and reaches 15 to 25-feet tall. The yellow flower clusters will fill your garden with the scent of white chocolate in late winter. They are ideal between structures. I’ve used the variegated version to screen a shower and it’s working great.

Another small tree, the compact Carolina cherry laurel can be espaliered also in a narrow space if needed. It grows 10-feet tall, but that may be all you need to screen the neighbor. They are drought tolerant once established, deer resistant, and the perfect host for birds, bees, and butterflies. The leaves smell like cherries when crushed, which gives this plant it’s common name.

A dwarf tree that also works nicely in this situation is a Southern magnolia called little gem. Naturally a very compact narrow tree it grows 20 to 30-feet tall, but only 10 to 15-feet wide. It can be trained as an espalier against a wall or fence, and the sweetly scented flowers will fill your garden with fragrance.

Other small trees that make a good screen are purple hopseed and dark shadows leptospermum. Both have beautiful burgundy foliage.

California natives that can be espaliered against a fence include Santa Cruz island ironwood, Western redbud, mountain mahogany, toyon, pink flowering currant, Oregon grape, and spicebush.

Read the full article: Press Banner

Low-maintenance gardens

Photo credit: Diablo Magazine

Drought-tolerant garden by Nico Oved

No Water, No Problem

These three fabulous low-maintenance gardens don’t sacrifice beauty, even if they do slash your water bill.

Garden design by Nico Oved - http://diablomag-images.dashdigital.com/DM1504_098_DIG.jpg?ver=1426628281
Garden design by Nico Oved – http://diablomag-images.dashdigital.com/DM1504_098_DIG.jpg?ver=1426628281

Thyme: a medicinal herb

Photo credit: Permaculture News

photo credit Lucie Bradley, Woodlands Community Gardens, Glasgow UK

Medicinal Plants in Permaculture……A Series of Monographs

by Lucie Bradley

EXCERPT

The second in the series ‘Medicinal plants and Permaculture’ is the hardy and highly aromatic Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Although this time of year in the northern hemisphere is a slow one for plants, this herb is highly useful for winter ailments, for adults and children alike.

Considering stacking functions; as a vigorous perennial this plant also provides year-round ground cover and foliage through the long winter months even in the coldest climates. Whilst during the summer, it is adored bee fodder giving a distinctive flavour to the honey (1), a carpet of pretty delicate flowers and full aroma.

Like permaculture, herbal medicine forms part of a strategy that helps to build resilience and reduce disasters by maintaining a healthy, optimal equilibrium. A variety of herbs can be used through the year in advance of changing seasons to build resistance and immunity within the body.

Thyme is a great herb to use as a pre-cursor to the onset of winter, and through winter to maintain optimal health and well-being (although also highly useful at other times too, depending on the ailment and constitution of the individual).

Read the full article: Permaculture News

Drought Tolerant Perennials (Suite101)

Read at :

http://landscaping.suite101.com/article.cfm/plant-drought-tolerant-perennials-to-reduce-landscape-maintenance

Plant Drought Tolerant Perennials to Reduce Landscape Maintenance

Low maintenance landscapes looks great despite the weather. To create one, design a garden featuring flowers that thrive in dry soil and hot sun.

A garden that laughs in the face of dry summer days begins with good plant choices. Most drought tolerant perennials grow beautifully in a range of conditions—they’ll thrive in evenly moist, well-drained soil but also tolerate and continue to bloom during droughts.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to find many drought tolerant perennials at garden centers. Start with the list here, but also read plant labels and ask garden personnel for suggestions. Local botanical gardens and Cooperative Extension Service offices also usually have lists of plants that tolerate dry conditions.

Keep in mind that untended spots in garden center display plantings or in parks or other public areas also can be a great source for ideas. Especially in dry weather, if you see perennials that are thriving without much apparent attention, try to identify them. They may make excellent additions to your garden.

Perennials for Dry Soils

Give all of these plants full sun and well-drained soil.

Amsonia (Amsonia spp.) ………………………………

Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis). …………………………..

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). ………………………………..

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia). ……………………………….

Shasta daisies (Chrysanthemum × superbum). ……………………………

Thread-leaved coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata). ……………………….

Yarrow (Achillea spp.). ………………………………

Read on

Smart plant choices are at the heart of any waterwise landscape. Successful water saving landscapes also use site selection and initial care to make sure plants thrive.

Water Wise Garden Care

(continued)

Collecting seeds of dragonfruit and tree tomato for development projects (Willem Van Cotthem)


Dragonfruits and tree tomatoes can be bought in supermarkets or fruit shops.

Dragonfruit is grown on the cactus Hylocereus :

  • Hylocereus undatus (Red Pitaya) has red-skinned fruit with white flesh, the most common “dragon fruit”.
  • Hylocereus costaricensis (Costa Rica Pitaya, often called H. polyrhizus) has red-skinned fruit with red flesh
  • Hylocereus megalanthus (Yellow Pitaya, formerly in Selenicereus) has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh.

The fruit contains hundreds of black, shiny little seeds sitting in the pulp.  One can wash out the tender pulp in a fine sieve and dry the seeds on a plate (not on paper).  They usually germinate around two weeks after shallow planting.  Dry seeds can be sent to us (Beeweg 36 – BE9080 ZAFFELARE (Belgium).  We offer free seeds to different development projects in the drylands, thus enabling hungry people to grow fresh fruits in a sustainable way.

Dragonfruit (Hylocereus undatus) growing on climbing cacti - * Dragonfruit plantation - Photo Evariza Farms - 423871_101260033362712_1701936709_n.jpg
Dragonfruit (Hylocereus undatus) growing on climbing cacti – * Dragonfruit plantation – Photo Evariza Farms – 423871_101260033362712_1701936709_n.jpg
Dragonfruit - Photo WVC P1030067
Dragonfruit – Photo WVC P1030067
Cross section of dragonfruit with black seeds in white pulp - Photo WVC P1030059
Cross section of dragonfruit with black seeds in white pulp – Photo WVC P1030059
Dragonfruit's shiny black seeds in rests of whitish pulp - Photo WVC - P1030111
Dragonfruit’s shiny black seeds in rests of whitish pulp – Photo WVC – P1030111
Germination of dragonfruit seeds - Photo WVC - P1030133
Germination of dragonfruit seeds – Photo WVC – P1030133
Dragonfruit seedlings on household paper - Photo WVC - P1030129
Dragonfruit seedlings on household paper – Photo WVC – P1030129

The tree tomato grows on a Cyphomandra betacea tree.

Oval fruits only look like tomatoes.  The juicy orange pulp with purply red seeds can be washed out in a fine sieve by squeezing the pulp under running tap water.  The dark colour of the seeds (anthocyanins) disappears gradually until they are brownish.  Seeds can be dried on a plate (not on a paper).  Seedlings develop quite easily in humid potting soil.

Dry seeds sent to us (see address above) are offered for free to development projects in the drylands, where these tree tomatoes bring fresh food full of vitamins to the local people.  Thus, anyone can contribute to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in this world.

Tree tomato (Cyphomandra betacea), an interesting fruit to be grown at the largest scale in the drylands. The tree should be incorporated in reforestation programs. - 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA BETACEA Photo WVC - P1030139.jpg
Tree tomato (Cyphomandra betacea), an interesting fruit to be grown at the largest scale in the drylands. The tree should be incorporated in reforestation programs. – 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA BETACEA Photo WVC – P1030139.jpg
Cross-section of tree tomato with orange flesh (juicy pulp) and dark red seeds - 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA P1030143
Cross-section of tree tomato with orange flesh (juicy pulp) and dark red seeds – 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA Photo WVC – P1030143
Seeds of tree tomato sit on their small stalk - 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA P1030147
Seeds of tree tomato sit on their small stalk – 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA Photo WVC – P1030147
When purplish red anthocyanins are washed out the seeds turn brownish - 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA P1030151
When purplish red anthocyanins are washed out the seeds turn brownish – 2009-12-30 CYPHOMANDRA Photo WVC – P1030151
All contributions of dragonfruit seeds and tree tomato seeds are most welcome.  In the name of all the people affected by drought and desertification, suffering from malnutrition, hunger and poverty : Sincere thanks !

Help us with Navajo Globe Willow cuttings (Willem Van Cotthem)

Cuttings of Navajo Globe Willow (Salix matsudana ‘Navajo’)

As we are setting up tests with drought-resistant varieties of trees to be introduced in refugee camps in the desert, we are looking for small cuttings (20-25 cm, 8-10 inches) of the Navajo Globe Willow (Salix matsudana ‘Navajo’).  We would be very grateful receiving some cuttings to compare their drought tolerance.

2009-11-08 Cuttings of the Navajo Globe Willow in a plastic bottle and a glass to induce root formation

================
‘Navajo’ is a very hardy tree, adapted to high desert climates, round-headed upright and fast-growing, spreading, large, deciduous, long lived tree, medium-sized, 20’ to 70′ tall and wide.

The tree seems to be sheared into a perfect ball. Its branching habit results in a characteristic globe shape: a broad, rounded, perfectly symmetrical crown spread of mostly fifty feet. Young 15’ tall trees start showing the rounded crown.

Slender leaves are bright green, lance-shaped, 2″-4″ long, turning yellow in fall.

Unlike most willows, this variety is popular in high desert and drylands because it is drought-tolerant, adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions

The name of the ‘Navajo’ variety of the Globe Willow is probably synonym with ‘Umbraculifera’.

The Navajo Globe Willow is related to the Corkscrew willow (Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’).  Cuttings of this Corkscrew Willow would also be welcome.

===============

2009-11-23 Two weeks later a lot of roots are developing and the first branches are shooting

Please send some cuttings to:

Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM
BEEWEG 36
B 9080 ZAFFELARE (Belgium

WHY NOT USING CUTTINGS OF NAVAJO GLOBE WILLOW TO REFORESTATE DRYLANDS ? – Willem VAN COTTHEM

Cuttings of Navajo Globe Willow (Salix matsudana ‘Navajo’)

by Willem Van Cotthem – University of Ghent (Belgium)

We have been setting up successful tests with drought-resistant varieties of trees to be introduced in refugee camps. We are still looking for small cuttings (20-25 cm, 8-10 inches) of the Globe Navajo willow (Salix matsudana var. ‘Navajo’).

We would be very grateful to receive some cuttings from different origins to compare drought tolerance.

Who wants to help us to some cuttings ?  Please send them to :

Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem

Beeweg 36

B9080 ZAFFELARE

A cutting of Salix matsudana in a juice bottle can be easily transplanted in the field after cutting off the bottom of the bottle, setting the basal part of the rootball free (Photo WVC 2010-01)
A cutting of Salix matsudana in a juice bottle can be easily transplanted in the field after cutting off the bottom of the bottle, setting the basal part of the rootball free (Photo WVC 2010-01)

================
‘Navajo’ is a very hardy tree, adapted to high desert climates, round-headed upright and fast-growing, spreading, large, deciduous, long lived tree, medium-sized, 20’ to 70′ tall and wide.

The tree seems to be sheared into a perfect ball. Its branching habit results in a characteristic globe shape: a broad, rounded, perfectly symmetrical crown spread of mostly fifty feet. Young 15’ tall trees start showing the rounded crown.

Slender leaves are bright green, lance-shaped, 2″-4″ long, turning yellow in fall.

Unlike most willows, this variety is popular in high desert and drylands because it is drought tolerant, adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions

The name of the ‘Navajo’ variety of the Globe Willow is probably synonym with ‘Umbraculifera’.

The Navajo Globe Willow is related to the Corkscrew willow (Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’).  Cuttings of this Cortkscrew Willow would also be welcome.

===============

Please send some cuttings to:

Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM
BEEWEG 36
B 9080 ZAFFELARE (Belgium)

Drought Tolerant Plants (Google / Bharat Abasha / DocStoc)

Read at : Google Alert – drought

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/12420193/Growing-Drought-Tolerant-Plants-In-Full-Sun-Gardens

http://www.bharatbhasha.com/gardening.php/50516

Drought Tolerant Plants

Areas of your garden that face West or South naturally tend to be much hotter and receive much more direct sunlight.

Taking a little time to choose the right plants for these demanding growing conditions can help save you time, money, and water, as well as improve your overall results.

Most plants will require more water under high heat/sun conditions unless they’re native to one of the desert regions, or when established, tend to be drought tolerant.

A deep watering program in high heat areas can help conserve water, and still promote healthy, vigorous growth. Continue reading Drought Tolerant Plants (Google / Bharat Abasha / DocStoc)

Drought-Resistant Gardens Are an Economical Alternative (Google / MatterNetwork)

Read at : Google Alert – drought

http://www.matternetwork.com/2009/10/drought-resistant-gardens-an-economical.cfm

Drought-Resistant Gardens Are an Economical Alternative

The high cost of watering yards and gardens is driving many homeowners to switch to drought-resistant landscaping, according to Darrin Miller of Central Coast Wilds. Miller’s firm designs and plants native and drought resistant gardens for residential customers and commercial clients.

Miller said he studied eco-landscaping about nine years ago. Yet, even though landscapers have been studying and planting drought-resistant gardens for a long time, many traditional landscape architects are still planting formal lawns and annual flowers, which require heavy amounts of fertilizer and regular watering to maintain. Continue reading Drought-Resistant Gardens Are an Economical Alternative (Google / MatterNetwork)