Posts

The true test for many plants in my humble opinion are how they perform during extremes.  If a plant looks great in the blistering heat of summer as well as when temps dip below freezing in winter, than it deserves a prime spot in the landscape.


Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla)
Thankfully, there are quite a few drought tolerant, flowering plants that do well with both the heat and cold for those of us who want a beautiful, fuss-free landscape filled with colorful plants.

I shared 10 of my favorite cold and heat tolerant, flowering plants in my latest article for Houzz.  


Hopefully, you will find some new favorites to try in your own garden.



Do you like plants that flower throughout most of the year?


How about a plant with foliage that is evergreen throughout the year in zone 9-11 gardens?


Would you prefer a plant that requires very little pruning?


If you answered “yes” to these questions, than Texas olive may deserve a spot in your garden.


This beautiful southwestern native deserves a spot in our ‘Drought Tolerant & Fuss Free’ category.


Despite its common name, this is not an olive tree.  However, it can be trained into a small tree or large shrub depending on your preference.

In my opinion, it deserves to be seen more often in the landscape with all of its outstanding qualities mentioned earlier.

My favorite characteristics are its large, dark green leaves and white flowers that decorate the landscape.

Want to learn more about Texas olive and how you can use it in your landscape?

Check out my latest plant profile for Houzz.

If you want more ideas of great plants to add to your drought tolerant landscape, you can check out my other plant profiles here.



*****************************

As you can see, it’s back to regular blog posts after my Northwestern road trip posts.  I hope you enjoyed them and were able to share in our adventures.

However, I still have more to share with you about the some very special gardens we visited. I promise to share with you soon!

Do you like discovering new things?


I do.  Particularly newer plant introductions.  New plant hybrids are always being discovered and I am always on the look out for new ones.  I like to use newer plant introductions in landscapes to help give them a new and updated look. 


Last week, I told you about my partnership with Monrovia plants and selecting two new plants for my garden. 


While shopping at the nursery for plants, there were many different plants to choose from.  As I walked through the nursery, I was tempted by lavender but then a display of Monrovia cacti and succulents caught my eye.


This tiny prickly pear grows 8 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

It looked so cute, I almost reached out to touch it, but stopped myself just in time.

Santa rita and purple prickly pear are among my favorite types of cacti.  I like their blue gray pads touched by purple.  ‘Baby rita’ (Opuntia basilaris ‘Baby Rita’) is a great alternative for smaller areas or you can group 3 of them together.


The next plant I was tempted by was ‘Lucky Crown’ agave (Agave Kissho Kan).  These are small agave that reach 18 inches high and wide.  They have beautiful, variegated leaves with maroon teeth along the edges.

I must admit that I was sorely tempted by both of these plants, but I decided on two different drought tolerant plants.

Have you seen any new plants that you have been tempted by?

To see what two plants I did come home with, click here.

What does your garden look like in early spring?  Does it somewhat boring?  How about adding some color and interest to your garden by adding some water-wise flowering plants?



This week, I had a fun project to work on – in partnership with Monrovia, I was asked to select two types water-wise plants for the landscape. So, I headed out to my local nursery with a mission to select from the different water-wise Monrovia plants available.


Once I arrived at the nursery, I was faced with a number of different Monrovia plant choices from succulents, cacti, shrubs and perennials.  After a some time going back and forth, I narrowed my choices down to these two water-wise, flowering beauties.

Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi) has long been a favorite perennial of mine.  I love the ‘cottage-garden’ look it provides with its pink spikes that appear in late winter and on into spring.


It is quite versatile in the landscape where it can be used in wildflower gardens, planted in a perennial bed or simply placed next to a boulder.
My next plant choice was a flowering succulent. 

Blue Elf aloe (Aloe ‘Blue Elf’) is a newer aloe species that is perfect for small spaces.  It thrives in hot, reflected heat and flowers in late winter on into spring.  



I have been using this small aloe a lot in recent landscape designs (like the one above) including in narrow planting beds, in entries and also in pots.



Both of these flowering plants are water-wise choices and perfect for the drought tolerant garden.


I loaded my new Monrovia plants up and started home.


On the drive home, I could see the flowers from my new plants in my rearview mirror and I couldn’t wait to find new homes for them in my garden.


I played with a number of potential locations in the garden for my new parry’s penstemon, but decided on planting it next to a boulder.  Plants like this penstemon look great next to boulders where their different textures provide great contrast.


I didn’t have to try different spots for my new Blue Elf aloe – I knew that I wanted it for one of my containers in the front entry.  This area gets blasted with hot, afternoon sun, which this pretty little aloe can handle with no problem.

Monrovia plants can be found at Lowe’s garden centers as well as at many local nurseries, which is where I found mine.  You can also order Monrovia plants online.  The quality of their plants is excellent and the only problem you’ll have is choosing from the large variety available.


*This post is sponsored by Monrovia, but my plant choices and opinions are my own.  Visit their website for more water-wise plant choices for your drought tolerant garden.