In a time when the level of rainfall each year is as uncertain as what tomorrow might bring. Maintaining a thriving garden of flowering plants can be difficult, time-consuming and damaging, to both your wallet and the natural water supply. And, while artificial grass is a good option for drought-resistant areas, most people want more variety.
A garden can give your home personality, or it can make your home appear stale and boring. So, how do you keep your home from falling into the latter category? Plant drought-resistant foliage and flowers to border that synthetic grass you had installed last month. Your neighbors will be impressed, and you will be relieved when you finally get to sleep in on Saturday morning. Where to Begin?
For those of you blanching at the idea of a cactus growing next to your eco-friendly, artificial grass lawn, don’t worry — there are plenty of options other than the desert flower to pursue. Before you go shopping, however, draw up a plan. You will want to know where your garden will be located and how much direct sunlight this location receives a day (for drought-tolerant plants, you want a location that receives 6-8 hours) and what kind of soil already exists on your property (well-draining soil is best for this particular type of garden). Once you’ve decided where your garden is going to be located, think about whether you want annual or perennial plants: In other words, do you want plants that flower for half the year, yet require replanting every spring (annual), or plants that bloom only ten weeks out of the year and require no replanting (perennial)? (It is ok to have both in a drought-resistant garden; when buying annual, however, just remember that they do require more water and will need to be kept in the most naturally wet areas.) Will you want to start with seeds or plants? If you choose to start with seeds, you will want to begin them indoors, and transfer them outdoors after the last frost. Lastly, you will want to keep in mind that plants native to the area will flourish the most with the least amount of assistance.
Now That You’ve Decided:
You have your garden mapped out and a list of plants that you want to help bring this garden to fruition. Now all you need to do is head over to your nearest Home Depot and purchase the necessary materials. Be sure that peat moss and perlite are on your list as well, for you will want to work each of them into the top few inches or so of your natural soil to maintain what moisture it does have. If you purchase potted plants, replant them at the same level they were in in their containers. Be sure to water them generously for their first planting season, to get them acclimated to their new climate. Though this may seem to contradict the term “drought-resistant,” watering them daily will ultimately serve to help them establish themselves and remain drought-tolerant after that first year.
If you purchased seeds, begin them indoors in their separate pots, soaking them the first day with boiling water, and replanting them outdoors after the last frost. Once all your flowers are planted in your garden, surround them with about 10 cm of a natural mulching material — this will help them to conserve their moisture even during the driest of seasons.
Once your flowers begin to bloom, buy yourself some patio furniture, grab a glass of iced-tea, and breathe in the scents of a lovely, drought-and-hassle-free garden.