June 10


How to Create and Design a Beautiful Dry Garden: Planting Ideas and Landscaping Inspiration

How to plan a dry garden – ideas for plants and landscaping

Planning a dry garden can be a smart and eco-friendly choice, especially in areas where water availability is limited. During times of drought or when water needs to be conserved, a dry garden can help you keep your yard looking green and beautiful without relying on excessive watering.

When planning a dry garden, it’s important to consider plants and landscaping ideas that are drought-tolerant and can thrive in arid conditions. By choosing plants that naturally require less water, you can avoid spending too much time and effort on weeding and watering. Drought-tolerant plants like marigolds, holly, and reed grasses are great options for a dry garden.

Landscaping is also an important aspect to consider when planning a dry garden. Sloping the ground away from your yard will help avoid water accumulation and promote proper drainage. An irrigation system that uses rainwater or a water-efficient drip system can be a sustainable way to keep your dry garden watered without wasting too much resources.

Another way to save water in a dry garden is by using mulch. Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering. It also helps suppress weed growth, keeping your garden looking neat and well-maintained. A layer of mulch can work wonders for your dry garden and also adds an opportunity to add an aesthetic touch to your landscaping scheme.

If you’re not sure where to start with planning your dry garden, seeking the help of a professional designer or consulting gardening magazines can provide you with some great ideas and inspiration. Many designers and experts in the field of landscaping have experience in creating drought-tolerant gardens that are both beautiful and eco-friendly.

In conclusion, planning a dry garden is a smart and sustainable approach to landscaping. By choosing drought-tolerant plants, implementing water-saving techniques like mulching and rainwater irrigation, and considering the slope and layout of your yard, you can create a beautiful, eco-friendly garden that thrives even during the hottest and driest of months.

How to plan a dry garden – expert guide

A dry garden, also known as a low-water or xeriscape garden, is a great option for those living in areas with limited water resources or for anyone looking to conserve water. Planning and designing a dry garden requires some careful consideration and knowledge, but with the right approach, you can create a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space.

1. Assess your site and soil conditions

The first step in planning a dry garden is to assess your site and soil conditions. Determine the amount of sunlight your yard receives throughout the day, as this will affect the types of plants you choose. Also, check the soil to ensure it is well-draining. Sandy soils are usually more suitable for dry gardens, while heavy clay soils may require additional amendments.

2. Choose the right plants

When selecting plants for your dry garden, it’s important to choose ones that are adapted to your specific climate and soil conditions. Look for drought-tolerant and native plants that can thrive in low-water environments. Mediterranean plants, like lavender, rosemary, and sage, are often good choices for dry gardens. Consider using groundcover plants to help retain moisture in the soil and reduce evaporation.

3. Create a water-efficient irrigation system

To conserve water in your dry garden, it’s essential to have a water-efficient irrigation system in place. Drip irrigation is a popular choice for dry gardens, as it delivers water directly to the plant’s root zone, minimizing evaporation. Consider installing a rainwater harvesting system to collect and reuse rainwater for watering your garden.

4. Add structure and color with rocks and mulch

Rocks and mulch can add visual interest and help conserve moisture in a dry garden. Use rocks of different sizes and shapes to create pathways, edging, or focal points. They can also help retain heat during colder months. Mulch, on the other hand, helps suppress weeds and insulates the soil, reducing water evaporation. Choose organic mulch, like wood chips or straw, for the best results.

5. Support wildlife and encourage biodiversity

A dry garden can be a haven for wildlife, especially if you include plants that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Create a habitat by providing food, water sources, and shelter for local wildlife. Avoid using chemical pesticides and fertilizers to protect the ecosystem and promote biodiversity. Remember to check your local regulations and guidelines for planting native species.

6. Maintain your dry garden

Even though dry gardens require less watering, they still require regular maintenance. Remove weeds regularly to prevent competition for water and nutrients. Prune plants when necessary to maintain their shape and size. Be mindful of any pests or diseases that can affect your plants, and take appropriate action to address them.

Planning and creating a dry garden may require some initial effort, but the long-term benefits are well worth it. Not only will you save water, but you’ll also have a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space that will thrive with less maintenance.

1 Check the conditions in your yard

1 Check the conditions in your yard

Says garden designer Matt Hoblyn: “Before submitting to any large-scale gardening, I always advice homeowners to make sure they know what they’re getting into. This is especially true when it comes to planning a dry garden.”

So, how do you know if your yard is suitable for a dry garden? Firstly, consider the weather conditions. Dry gardens are ideal for areas with long, sunny summers and minimal rainfall. If you live in a region with a Mediterranean climate, you’re in luck! These areas are perfect for dry gardens.

Also, take a look at your soil. Dry gardens thrive in well-draining soil that retains less water. If you have heavy clay soil, you may need to amend it to improve drainage.

Next, assess the size of your yard. Planning a dry garden in a large yard takes more time and effort compared to a small one. So consider how much work you’re willing to put in.

Lastly, consider the risk of drought. If you live in an area with regular water shortages or water restrictions, a dry garden is a great eco-friendly alternative that requires less irrigation.

Matt Hoblyn also encourages homeowners to think about wildlife. “Dry gardens can be a haven for wildlife like bees and butterflies,” he says. “With the right selection of plants, you can create a free, nectar-rich habitat for them.”

Once you’ve considered these factors, it’s time to start planning your dry garden. Here are some tips:

  • Research drought-tolerant plants that thrive in your region. Look for varieties that are native to your area.
  • Consider using grasses in your design. Ornamental grasses are not only low maintenance, but they also add texture and movement to your landscape.
  • Declutter your yard. Remove any unnecessary items, such as old pots or tools, to create a clean and organized space.
  • Keep in mind the overall design scheme. Choose plants that complement the architecture of your home and create a cohesive look.

Garden designer Andrew Townsend suggests another way to make your dry garden more eco-friendly: “Avoid mowing the lawn. By letting your grasses and wildflowers grow, you’re creating a natural habitat for wildlife.”

Remember, planning a dry garden is a long-term project. It may take time for your plants to establish and grow. But with proper care and maintenance, your dry garden will be a beautiful and sustainable addition to your yard.

2 Choose drought-tolerant plants

When planning a dry garden, it’s important to choose plants that can thrive in low-water conditions. Drought-tolerant plants are those that are adapted to survive with minimal water supply. These plants have various mechanisms that allow them to store and conserve water, making them the perfect choice for a water-wise garden.

Choosing drought-tolerant plants adds not only beauty but also supports the ecosystem by reducing the need for excessive watering and irrigation systems. By selecting plants that are well-suited to your local climate, you can create a sustainable and environmentally-friendly garden that requires less maintenance and water.

There are many drought-tolerant plants to choose from, each with its own unique qualities and characteristics. Some popular choices include succulents like agave and aloe vera, which store water in their leaves, making them ideal for dry climates. Other options include plants like lavender, rosemary, and marigolds, which have adapted to thrive in Mediterranean regions with hot, dry summers.

When selecting plants for your dry garden, consider the natural landscape of your site. If you have a sunny, sloping yard, you may want to choose plants that can withstand the full sun and well-drained soil. Grasses like reed canary grass and blue oat grass are excellent choices for these conditions, as they can add texture and color to your garden.

Large shrubs like ceanothus and manzanita make a great focal point in dry gardens, while small perennials like penstemons and salvias can fill in the gaps between larger plants. By choosing plants in different heights and shapes, you can create a visually interesting and dynamic landscape.

Another important factor to consider when selecting drought-tolerant plants is their ability to attract pollinators. Plants like butterfly bush, bee balm, and yarrow are not only low-maintenance but also provide nectar and support for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.

To keep your dry garden looking its best, it’s important to provide proper care and maintenance. Mulch can be used to conserve water and suppress weeds, while also adding a natural and organic look to your garden. By applying mulch around your plants, you can reduce evaporation and keep the soil moist for longer periods of time.

When planting your drought-tolerant plants, make sure to give them enough space to grow. Overcrowding can lead to competition for water and nutrients, so be sure to follow the recommended spacing guidelines for each plant. It’s also a good idea to group together plants with similar water needs, as this will make irrigation more efficient.

By choosing the right plants and planning your dry garden accordingly, you can create a beautiful and sustainable landscape that requires less water and work. These drought-tolerant plants will not only survive but thrive in low-water conditions, allowing you to enjoy a vibrant and eco-friendly garden all year long.

3 Add shrubs and trees for structure

In a dry garden, adding shrubs and trees is important for creating structure and visual interest. These plants can provide shade, privacy, and a focal point for your garden. Here are some ideas for incorporating shrubs and trees into your dry garden:

1. Choose plants that are well-adapted to your climate

When selecting shrubs and trees for your dry garden, it’s important to consider the climate in your area. Look for plants that are native to your region or adapted to thrive in dry conditions. These plants will have a better chance of surviving and thriving in your garden.

2. Consider the size of your garden

Depending on the size of your garden, you may want to choose shrubs and trees that fit proportionately. For smaller yards, consider compact varieties of shrubs and columnar trees that won’t take up too much space.

3. Select plants that have drought-tolerant or low water needs

In a dry garden, it’s important to choose plants that can withstand periods of drought or require less watering. Look for shrubs and trees that have low water requirements or are adapted to dry conditions. This will help you conserve water and reduce the need for frequent watering.

4. Create a layered effect with different heights

When planning your shrubs and trees, consider creating a layered effect with different heights. This will add visual interest and depth to your garden. Place taller trees or shrubs towards the back or center of your garden, and shorter ones towards the front or edges.

5. Provide a variety of colors and textures

Incorporating shrubs and trees with different colors and textures can add visual interest to your dry garden. Consider plants with interesting foliage, such as variegated leaves or silvery textures. This will add depth and variety to your garden design.

6. Space plants properly to avoid overcrowding

When planting shrubs and trees in your dry garden, make sure to space them properly to avoid overcrowding. Leave enough room for each plant to grow and spread without competing for resources. This will help them establish a strong root system and grow to their full potential.

7. Use groundcover plants between shrubs and trees

To minimize weed growth and retain soil moisture in your dry garden, consider using groundcover plants between your shrubs and trees. Groundcovers can help prevent soil erosion and also add a splash of color to your garden. Choose low-maintenance and drought-tolerant groundcover plants for best results.

By adding shrubs and trees to your dry garden, you can create a beautiful and sustainable yard that requires less water and maintenance. These plants will provide structure, color, and texture to your garden, and also attract birds and beneficial insects. Consider these tips when planning out your dry garden and make the most out of this water-wise landscaping trend!

4 Follow the light in your garden

When planning a dry garden, it is important to consider the amount of sunlight your garden receives. Different plants have different light requirements, so it is important to choose plants that will thrive in the available light conditions.

These are some factors to consider when it comes to light in your garden:

  1. Sunny spots: If you have areas in your garden that receive full sun for most of the day, consider planting sun-loving plants like succulents and Mediterranean herbs. These plants are adapted to dry conditions and will thrive in the direct sunlight.
  2. Shady areas: On the other hand, if you have areas in your garden that are shaded for most of the day, choose shade-tolerant plants like ferns and hostas. These plants prefer indirect sunlight and will thrive in shady conditions.
  3. Sloping terrain: If your garden has slopes or uneven terrain, the sunlight distribution will vary. Consider planting a mix of sun-loving and shade-tolerant plants to accommodate the different light levels in your garden.
  4. Tree cover: If you have trees in your garden, they may cast shade over certain areas. Take this into account when choosing plants and plant those that can tolerate shade or dappled sunlight.

By assessing the light in your garden, you can make informed decisions about the type of plants to choose and where to plant them. This will help ensure that your garden thrives without the need for excessive watering and maintenance.

It is also important to consider the color scheme of your garden when planning for light. Lighter-colored plants like silver foliage and white flowers will help reflect light and make the garden feel brighter.

Additionally, low-maintenance landscaping techniques like mulching can help conserve water and suppress weeds. Mulch, such as wood chips or gravel, can be spread around plants to retain moisture and prevent the growth of unwanted weeds. This will reduce the risk of water evaporation and the need for regular weeding.

When it comes to water usage in a dry garden, it is always best to source water from sustainable and free sources like rainwater. Installing a rainwater harvesting system in your garden can help collect rainwater that can be used to water your plants during dry periods.

Supporting wildlife in your dry garden is also important. Many plants, like grasses, provide habitats for insects and birds. By choosing native plants, you can help encourage local wildlife to your garden.

In summary, when planning a dry garden, it is important to follow the light in your garden and choose plants that will thrive in the available light conditions. Consider the sun exposure, shade, tree cover, and terrain of your garden. Additionally, make use of low-maintenance landscaping techniques like mulching and rainwater harvesting. By considering these factors, you can create a sustainable and low-maintenance dry garden that will thrive even during dry periods.

5 Encourage deep roots to form

One of the key elements of planning a dry garden is choosing plants that have deep roots. Deep-rooted plants are better able to find water and nutrients in the soil, making them more resilient and able to survive in dry conditions. Here are a few tips to encourage deep roots in your garden:

  1. Choose plants with deep root systems: When selecting plants for your dry garden, opt for species that are known for their deep roots. These plants are naturally adapted to drought conditions and will be more likely to thrive in your garden.
  2. Consider the soil type: Different soil types can support different types of plants. A sandy soil, for example, will drain more quickly and may require plants with longer roots to reach the water table. In contrast, clay soils tend to retain water for longer periods of time, which can be beneficial for plants with shorter roots.
  3. Provide enough space: Giving plants enough space to spread their roots is important for encouraging deep root growth. Avoid overcrowding plants and give them plenty of room to establish themselves and grow.
  4. Water deeply and infrequently: Rather than watering your plants frequently with small amounts of water, aim to water deeply and infrequently. This will encourage the plants to grow deeper roots in search of water, rather than relying on surface-level moisture.
  5. Use organic mulch: Organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, can help to retain moisture in the soil and keep the roots cool during hot weather. This can also help promote deep root growth and protect plants from drying out.

By encouraging deep roots to form, you will be helping your plants to better survive periods of drought and water restrictions. This is not only beneficial for the plants themselves, but it will also help to reduce your water usage and create a more sustainable and eco-friendly garden.

6 Reduce your lawn size

6 Reduce your lawn size

Another way to conserve water in your dry garden is by reducing the size of your lawn. Lawns require a large amount of water to stay green and healthy, so by reducing the size of your lawn, you can greatly decrease your water usage.

One of the trends in garden planning is to create a more natural landscape by reducing the amount of lawn area. This means creating gardens with a larger focus on perennials and less on lawns.

Reducing your lawn size has many benefits. It not only saves water, but it also can make your yard more interesting and visually appealing. By replacing part of your lawn with structures such as patios, pathways, or seating areas, you can create a more functional and attractive outdoor space.

When planning your garden, it is important to consider advice from experts on how to reduce your lawn size. They may suggest planting low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plants that require less water. These plants can also provide color and structure to your garden, making it visually appealing even without a large lawn.

By reducing your lawn size, you can also create an opportunity to grow a variety of plants that may not thrive in a traditional lawn setting. Mediterranean plants, for example, can be a great addition to your garden as they require less water and can tolerate drought conditions.

In addition to reducing the size of your lawn, it is important to also consider the quality of your soil. By improving the soil with organic matter and compost, you can reduce water runoff and help retain moisture for your plants.

Another way to reduce lawn size is by capturing and using rainwater. Installing a rainwater harvesting system can help you collect and store rainwater, which can then be used to water your drought-tolerant plants. This not only helps reduce water usage, but also reduces the risk of your plants suffering from a lack of water during dry periods.

In summary, reducing your lawn size is an eco-friendly and water-saving option for your garden. By replacing part of your lawn with drought-tolerant plants, structures, and pathways, you can create a more visually appealing and low-maintenance space. Consider seeking advice from gardening experts to help you plan and design your garden in a way that supports water conservation.

7 Opt for groundcover planting

Groundcover planting is a great option for dry gardens, as it can help to retain moisture in the soil and prevent evaporation. It also adds texture and visual interest to the garden.

When it comes to choosing groundcover plants, it’s important to consider their drought tolerance. Look for plants that are naturally adapted to dry conditions and require minimal watering. Drought-tolerant perennials like yarrow, sedum, and agave are good choices.

Grasses are also a popular choice for groundcover planting in dry gardens. They have deep roots that can reach down to the water table, allowing them to survive even during periods of drought. Some examples of drought-tolerant grasses include feather reed grass, blue grama grass, and purple fountain grass.

Another way to introduce groundcover plants is to use low-growing shrubs and spreading plants. They can fill in gaps between larger plants and help to cover the soil, reducing water loss through evaporation. Some examples of suitable groundcover shrubs include creeping thyme, dwarf myrtle, and prostrate rosemary.

In addition to helping with moisture retention, groundcover planting can also help to discourage weeds. When the ground is covered with plants, there is less space for weeds to grow, reducing the need for weeding and making maintenance easier.

If you’re looking to add more wildlife to your garden, groundcover plants can also provide habitat for insects, birds, and other creatures. They can provide both food and shelter, creating a more diverse and vibrant ecosystem.

When planning your groundcover planting, make sure to consider the unique conditions of your site. Take into account factors such as soil type, sun exposure, and water availability. Choose plants that are well-suited to these conditions to ensure their success.

A groundcover planting can be a beautiful and sustainable solution for a dry garden. By choosing the right plants, you can create a low-maintenance, water-efficient landscape that supports the environment and adds beauty to your yard.

8 Choose the best materials

When planning a dry garden, it is important to choose the right materials to ensure a sustainable and low-maintenance landscape. Here are some tips on choosing the best materials for your drought-tolerant garden:

1. Drought-tolerant plants

1. Drought-tolerant plants

First and foremost, select plants that are naturally adapted to dry conditions. Look for plants that have low water needs and can survive with minimal watering. Some popular choices include agaves, succulents, grasses, and Mediterranean plants.

2. Mulch

Mulch is an essential component of a dry garden. It helps to retain moisture in the soil, suppresses weed growth, and regulates soil temperature. Choose a mulch that is eco-friendly and sustainable, such as wood chips or bark.

3. Watering system

3. Watering system

Consider installing a drip irrigation system for your plants. This will provide water directly to the root zone, reducing water evaporation and ensuring efficient watering.

4. Low-maintenance groundcover

Instead of a traditional lawn, consider using low-maintenance groundcover plants. These plants will not only reduce water usage but also eliminate the need for mowing. Some options include creeping thyme, dwarf mondo grass, and brass buttons.

5. Sustainable materials

When creating paths, patios, or seating areas, opt for materials that are sourced locally or from sustainable sources. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transport and promotes eco-friendly practices.

6. Structures and hardscaping

Choose structures and hardscaping features that complement the overall design of your dry garden. Use materials such as stone, gravel, or recycled concrete to create paths, retaining walls, or raised beds.

7. Color and texture

Consider incorporating plants and materials that provide color and texture to your garden. Use contrasting colors and different textures to create visual interest and make your garden more appealing.

8. Expert advice

If you are unsure about which materials to use or need more guidance in designing your dry garden, consult with a professional garden designer or landscaper. They can provide valuable advice tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

9 Go for gravel surfaces

When planning a dry garden, it’s important to consider what kind of surfaces you want to incorporate into your landscape. One popular option is to use gravel as a surface material. Gravel is low-maintenance and can add a unique texture and color to your garden.

Using gravel as a surface material in your dry garden has several benefits. First, it doesn’t need much water to survive, making it an eco-friendly choice. Gravel also works well in areas with low water levels, as it allows water to penetrate the soil more easily. This can help prevent soil erosion and runoff.

Additionally, gravel surfaces are easy to maintain. Unlike grass or other groundcover plants, gravel doesn’t require mowing or regular watering. This can save you time and effort in the long run.

When choosing gravel for your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the size of the gravel. Smaller gravel works better for walkways and pathways, while larger gravel can be used for driveways or other areas where vehicles may be parked.

It’s also important to consider the color of the gravel. Lighter colors reflect sunlight, keeping the temperature of your garden cooler during hot summer months. Darker colors, on the other hand, can absorb heat and warm up the surrounding area.

To make sure your gravel surface stays in place, it’s a good idea to install a geotextile fabric underneath. This will help prevent weeds from growing through the gravel and provide a stable base for the surface.

One final consideration when using gravel is that it may not be suitable for all plants. Some plants prefer more moisture and may not thrive in a gravel environment. It’s important to choose plants that are well-suited to the conditions of your garden.

Overall, gravel surfaces can add a unique and visually appealing element to your dry garden. They are low-maintenance, eco-friendly, and can help conserve water. Consider incorporating gravel into your garden design to create a beautiful and sustainable landscape.

10 Add terraced areas to sloping yards

If you have a sloping yard, creating terraced areas is a great way to make use of the space without wasting valuable ground. Terraces can add structure to your yard and create visually interesting levels for planting.

When planning terraces, it’s important to consider the natural flow of water. You don’t want runoff to create a mess in your yard, so think about installing a drainage system to redirect water away from your plants. This can be especially important if you live in an area with heavy rainfall or a high water table.

One option for terraced areas is to use low-maintenance plants, such as drought-tolerant grasses or perennials. These plants require less water and can thrive in the dry conditions. Some popular choices include lavender, holly, and reed grass.

Another option is to create a Mediterranean-style terrace with plants that can withstand long periods without much water. Mediterranean plants like oleander, rosemary, and marigolds are a great choice for this type of design. They are not only drought-tolerant but also add color and fragrance to your yard.

If you’re not sure what plants will work best in your area, it’s always a good idea to consult with a landscape designer or submit a soil sample for testing. They can provide expert advice on which plants will thrive in your specific climate and soil conditions.

Adding terraced areas to your yard can also create opportunities for outdoor entertaining or relaxation. You can create seating areas on each level using benches or outdoor furniture. This allows you to enjoy your yard from different perspectives and take advantage of the views.

Lastly, terraced areas can be an eco-friendly way to deal with sewage or wastewater. By installing a septic system on the lower levels, the water can be naturally filtered through plants and the soil, reducing the impact on the environment.

In summary, adding terraced areas to sloping yards can make your yard more visually appealing, provide structure, and create opportunities for different types of planting. It’s important to consider the water needs of the plants you choose and plan for proper drainage. With the right design and plant selection, terraced areas can turn a difficult yard into a beautiful and functional outdoor space.

What is a dry garden

A dry garden is a type of garden that is designed to thrive with minimal water needs. It is specifically created to withstand dry and arid conditions, making it ideal for regions with limited water supply or areas prone to droughts. Dry gardens are often sourced with plants that are drought-tolerant and require less water for their survival.

Plants for a dry garden

The key to a successful dry garden is careful consideration in plant selection. Choosing the right plants is crucial to ensure their ability to survive in dry conditions. There are different types of plants suitable for dry gardens:

  • Drought-tolerant plants: These plants have the ability to survive long periods without water and are well-suited for dry gardens. Examples include cacti, succulents, and agaves.
  • Drought-resistant plants: These plants have adapted to dry conditions but still require some water. Examples include lavender, rosemary, and yarrow.
  • Native plants: Plants native to your region are likely to be well-adapted to local climate and soil conditions, making them a great choice for dry gardens.

Planting and landscaping in a dry garden

When planning a dry garden, it is important to consider the different aspects of planting and landscaping. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Ground preparation: Before planting, prepare the ground by removing any weeds or grass. Consider using basson strips to retain moisture in the soil.
  • Plant spacing: Plant the chosen plants with enough space between them. This will give them room to grow and receive sufficient nutrients and water.
  • Watering: Water the plants thoroughly when first planted, then gradually reduce the watering frequency. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  • Support wildlife: Dry gardens can also support wildlife by providing food and shelter. Consider planting flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
  • Groundcover and mulch: Use groundcover plants or a layer of mulch to conserve moisture and prevent weed growth. This will also help to maintain soil temperature.
  • Avoid lawns: Lawns require much more water compared to other plants. In a dry garden, it is best to avoid them or minimize their use.

Beneficial aspects of a dry garden

There are many reasons why a dry garden can be beneficial:

  • Low maintenance: Dry gardens are low-maintenance and require less watering and upkeep compared to traditional gardens.
  • Sustainable: By using less water, dry gardens are more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
  • Attractive appearance: With careful planning and selection of plants, dry gardens can be visually appealing and add beauty to any landscape.
  • Can be adapted to different styles: Dry gardens can be designed in various styles, such as Mediterranean or desert-inspired, to suit different preferences and locations.

In conclusion, a dry garden is a great option for those who want a low-maintenance and water-efficient garden. By following the right planting and landscaping techniques, you can create a beautiful and sustainable garden that thrives in dry conditions.

What do you put in a dry garden

When planning a dry garden, there are several factors to consider. The type of plants and landscaping you choose plays a crucial role in creating a sustainable and low-maintenance garden that can thrive in dry climates or with minimal watering. Here are some ideas and suggestions on what to put in a dry garden:

Drought-tolerant plants

One of the key elements of a dry garden is selecting plants that are naturally adapted to grow with minimal water. These plants have developed strategies to survive in arid conditions and often have features like succulent leaves or deep root systems that help them retain moisture. Some popular drought-tolerant plants include:

  • Cacti
  • Agave
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Ornamental grasses

Dense shrubs and ground covers

In a dry garden, it’s important to maximize the use of space to reduce weed growth and conserve water. Choosing dense shrubs and ground covers can help create a visually appealing and low-maintenance garden. Some suitable options for dry gardens include:

  • Boxwood
  • Juniper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Creeping phlox
  • Ice plant


Mulch is another essential component of a dry garden. Applying mulch around your plants helps to retain moisture in the soil and reduces weed growth. It also acts as an insulator, protecting the roots of your plants from extreme temperatures. Some popular types of mulch for dry gardens include wood chips, straw, and gravel.

Sustainable irrigation systems

Sustainable irrigation systems

To minimize water usage in a dry garden, consider installing a sustainable irrigation system. Options like drip irrigation systems or rainwater harvesting systems can help deliver water directly to the roots of your plants and reduce water waste. Rain barrels can be used to collect rainwater from rooftops and gutters, providing a natural water source for your garden.

Wildlife-friendly plants

Incorporating plants that attract wildlife can add interest and biodiversity to your dry garden. Native plants are usually the best choice, as they are well-adapted to the local environment and provide food and shelter for local wildlife. Flowers like marigolds, hollyhocks, and sunflowers can attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden.

When designing and planning your dry garden, it’s always important to consider the specific conditions of your site, such as soil type, sun exposure, and slope. Consulting with a professional garden designer or a local nursery can help you select the right plants and create a successful and visually appealing dry garden.

By following these tips and suggestions, you can create a beautiful and sustainable dry garden that requires less water, maintenance, and mowing. Enjoy the beauty of your garden while contributing to water conservation efforts and supporting local wildlife!


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