Drought tolerant perennials are popular these days, especially with those of you in the midst of a heat wave as we are here in Ontario. Even if you have an irrigation system, these hardy perennials should be a staple in your garden to avoid wasting your money on plants and water. Just be sure to place the hoses or plants (whichever you install last) strategically. For example, ornamental grasses (and most other drought tolerant plants) do not appreciate wet feet. In fact, the quickest way to kill them off is to overwater them.
Here are a few drought tolerant perennials that I rely on for hot summer color:
- Russian sage
- ornamental grasses
- stonecrop and sedum, available in multiple colors, great for hot borders
If you haven’t already, consider adding some to your gardens, just be sure to wait until the heat wave is over to do so!
Like anything else, there are pros and cons to installing an irrigation system in your yard. The biggest advantage is quite obvious. Your garden and/or lawns are automatically watered on a regular schedule that you select. The largest disadvantage is the cost involved to install such a system. This summer the pros appear to outweigh the cons. If your lawn is as burnt as mine is you will know just what I mean.
I have a soaker system in my back gardens to keep them looking good, but my front lawn has to rely on rainfall which we have none of for weeks.
I have come across many irrigation systems in the gardens (and yards) I look after. Some have sprinkler heads, others have a copper piping drip system, others have a combination of both. Which is better? That depends on what you want to keep hydrated and how much you want to spend. The experts you contact to install the system will advise you better than I can.
All I can say is that I can certainly tell the lawns and gardens that do have the luxury of an irrigation systems of some sort.
If you haven’t noticed, Ottawa is in the middle of a heat wave, as are many places throughout Canada. I wonder if we payed a tariff on the heat coming from the US of A. Perhaps Donald Trump hasn’t thought of that yet. If he did, we would have to retaliate and charge Americans a tariff on the cold fronts we send you every winter (currently) for free.
Seriously, the heat and humidity are so high that it’s just too hot for me to spend more than a few minutes in anyone’s gardens this week. So, what else can a gardener do in this heat? Well, I met a friend for coffee this morning and power washed my front veranda this afternoon. Even though there was cool water involved, the power washing was a hot and dangerous job. As I was reaching into the back of my van to remove my power washer, I heard a hissing noise just before the back trunk slammed down on my head. Just what I needed, a concussion to go with the possible heat stroke.
I guess that gives me something to work on tomorrow…getting the struts (that’s what my mechanic told me they are called) on the trunk repaired. Then I will spend some time with my baby granddaughter. After that I can continue working on the quilt I am making for my almost five year old granddaughter. Although quilting is usually a winter passion of mine, this heat wave will give me some time to work on the project that is (still) spread out on my dining room table.
That’s Canada for you. Heat waves and cold snaps alike tend to make us retreat to the comfort of our air conditioned or heated homes. Just forget I mentioned the word tariff, I wouldn’t want to put ideas in anyone’s head!
photo from Unsplash