Water Wise Plants – Water Wise Gardens
One of the increasingly important aspects of garden design is the use of water wise plants to conserve water as well as to save money.
Waterwise or ‘Drought Tolerant’ Plants are sometimes perceived as ‘boring’, or thought to be limited to cacti and succulents. However when we research plants that can best cope with limited water, we actually come up with a range of great plants, perennials, bulbs, trees and shrubs.
The image of low water use ornamental grasses may not provide you with the colour you are looking for in the garden, however many plants with colourful flowers are also low water use, and Salvias are some of the best.
Most Australian Native Plants are ‘drought tolerant’ but so are roses, which cope with little water once established, if they are well mulched. Cliva and Daffodils do well on little water and Arbutus are a tough drought tolerant tree. Some nurseries identify and carry a range of waterwise plants, we list them below.
The Key to Water wise Plants
- Using plants in the garden is all about where you plant then, and by grouping plants that require similar amounts of water it is easier regulate watering patterns.
- A few natural factors also come into play. Plants in afternoon shade will generally survive with less added water. Those planted at the bottom of a slope, or even in a slight depression will naturally receive more runoff and seepage than others.
- Water wise does not always mean sun tolerant, some plants will grow exceptionally well in dry shade, however will not survive in full sun, other perform best in the sun.
- Using summer dormant plants, especially bulbs, can provide colour in spring or autumn without the need for summer watering.
If we are looking at trees, then one interesting species is the Water Gum, its an Australian native tree that in its natural habitat is found by creeks, however the Water Gum – Tristaniopsis laurina – is actually a tough tree that requires little water at all.
We then get to the obvious ‘water wise’ cantidates, the succulents, aloes, agaves, euphorbia, crassula and cacti.
What about water wise plants for the cottage garden
Try echium, and of course kniphofia, yarrow, renga renga lily and adenanthos, all fit well into the cottage garden scheme and all have low water requirements.
A range of waterwise plants are available for sale from the following nurseries and growers
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.
P O Box 398 Creswick Vic 3363
Retail & Mail Order Specialist Growers of Heritage Roses, Unusual Perennials, Tree & Herbaceous Peonies. Mail order and Nursery Sales.
Native grasses, sedges, rushes, lilies, wetland plants, ornamental grasses and grass trees. Contract growing. Cells, tubes and pots. Contemporary water wise garden solutions and revegetation specialists. Unique garden decor, pots and original sculptures. Delivery available. www.plantsandlandscapes.com.au
Our List of ‘water wise plants’ includes