Try these suggestions for a garden that looks beautiful without over-using precious water resources.
For an Earth-friendly garden in water-challenged Tulsa, check out plants that don’t need a big gulp. Chris Ferris, horticulturist and plant buyer for Southwood Nursery, says many plants are available locally that are “moderately to quite drought resistant” in a wide variety of colors and textures that go together. Plus, they are easy to grow and find.
Here are Ferris’ top picks:
Boxwood. This evergreen shrub, ideally “Winter Green,” is well suited to provide the backbone of a garden.
Yaupon holly. For an extremely drought-tolerant evergreen, yaupons can provide height in the landscape.
Nandina. Bright red berries are a plus on this bush, which ranges from 6 feet high to miniature varieties. Many are variagated.
Crepe myrtle. Pick your color. Crepe myrtle sports a variety of hues from ruby red to white. Sizes range from 3 feet to 12-plus feet.
Shrub roses. Forget picky hybrid teas. Shrub roses handle sparse water and rarely need spraying for pests. Try the Knockout and Earth Kind series. For a real stunner, plant “Flower Carpet” for season-long blooms on 3-foot bushes.
Junipers. A top choice for this low, creeping evergreen is “Blue Pacific.” Colors include dusky blue-green and gray.
Ornamental grasses. For four-season loveliness, grasses are great. Fountain grass is a favorite. Its dramatic plumes provide interest that lasts all winter. Check grass labels for height, which can vary greatly.
Lantana. This annual provides lots of bang for the buck because it spreads, covering a lot of ground. A few plants go a long way. Available in a variety of colors.
Artemisia “Powis Castle.” Mounds of this plant with fern-like foliage can reach 5 feet wide. Its silver-gray coloring makes it an ideal companion plant.
Salvias. A popular seller in nurseries, try the Autumn Sage and Salvia “May Night.”
Rudbeckia. Daisy-like with yellow petals, rudbeckia clumps get bigger every year. You can’t kill it.
What to do in Tulsa gardens this month:
Prune roses. A hefty prune will produce lots of smaller flowers; a sparing cutback means fewer but larger blooms. Cut out dead wood.
Cut back spring-flowering bushes, such as forsythia, after they bloom.
Don’t trim spring-flowering shrubbery until the blades fade brown, generally in early June.