Plants for a very, very dry spot

(10 Posts)
tanimbar Thu 15-Sep-16 20:38:08

We have a bed running along the side of the house which is entirely under the eaves (they poke out a long way). One corner, by the front door, is especially sheltered, and very rarely seems to get much in the way of rain - even the weeds are struggling! As it's in a fairly prominent position, I need something in there, but it's going to need to be extremely drought-tolerant (we don't really use front door and I'd never remember to water there). Any suggestions? I wondered about lavender, but don't know if it would cope.

I think I might be tempted to use it for things like succulents - aeoniums might be nice. Some are more cold-hardy than others, so if you are in a climate where sub-zero temps are quite likely, choose carefully or be prepared to move them. I grow aeonium Schwarzkopf in my garden and just uproot it and put it in the greenhouse over the winter.

tanimbar Fri 16-Sep-16 15:15:50

That sounds ideal, and they look great - would never have thought of that on my own! We're South West, and it's very sheltered, so I reckon it'd be worth risking outside over the winter. How big do yours get?

My largest Schwarzkopf is about a foot tall. They grow lots of rather spectacular rosettes which you can simply cut off and pot on to make lots more plants (it really is that easy). I bought one originally and I now have about 10 little ones! I think it would be a bit bigger if I hadn't done this!

There are loads of other lovely succulents you can get so you could mix them up for different textures. The Secret Gardening Club has had lots over the summer!

I think given they are right by your house and very dry, and you are in a very mild part of the country, you might be able to risk them outside most winters.

tanimbar Sun 18-Sep-16 07:40:38

That sounds perfect, thanks so much for your help!

Ifailed Sun 18-Sep-16 07:54:28

Second succulents, some are very hardy, not surprising when one considers most deserts get very cold at night. Monty Don (can't stand him ) was wittering on about them on Gardner's World recently, he may have actually said something useful, iPlayer can tell you.
Other than that, try and find a specialist nursery nearby who can advise you for your area. For what its work, I have a friend with a collection of cacti, most other 30 years old, that happily live outside. Although in London, we do do occasionally get hard frosts and they are happy. All in Pots though.

Ifailed Sun 18-Sep-16 07:55:05

worth, not work!

Ifailed Sun 18-Sep-16 07:59:19

here you go:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07w1vdw/gardeners-world-2016-episode-25

sandgrown Sun 18-Sep-16 08:04:45

Thanks Shove I have one of those plants but never knew what it was. I assumed it was an indoor plant .

They are not hardy so need winter protection in most places. But your site sounds really sheltered, and if it's dry there, you may get away with it. I think you might need to impoverish your soil especially to ensure that any moisture that does get on their drains. (Do watched Ifailed's link - it is useful)

I think your main enemy will be winter wet - and this depends very much where you are and how much those eaves protrude. If you are in the south east, the answer may be quite different to highland Scotland! However, you can:

- grow less hardy ones in a trough and bring them indoors
- grow hardier succulents and aim to keep them dry over winter (you might get away with this in the east in particular)
- grow dead tough things, like the stuff you see on green roofs: ground cover sedums, for instance.

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