Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not The Climate For Xeric


Agastache  rupestris  has survived for several years in a container
Xeric is an iffy prospect in the Central Basin in Middle Tennessee.   Our summers  might be dryer and hotter, but, our winters haven't changed. They are wet, wet, wet! That's typically when we get most of our rainfall.
'Grey Owl' Juniperus and Cotinus 'Grace' prefer dry roots
On average more then 20 inches fall from November to April; that's more then most xeric plants can handle.  It's the main reason for plant loss.  Wet, clay soil over limestone   drowns plants each winter. 
and these are the pieces of limestone I can dig out!
 On the whole, I  no longer buy plants hailed as xeric for this garden.  But, I do have perennials and shrubs that require dry roots during the winter.  Juniperus virginiana "Grey Owl'  likes it on the dry side, so, the soil is raised and  amended with a  shale product that  promotes  drainage.  Some plants that need  sharp drainage might spend their life in a large container~like  Agastache rupestris.  All the rest get planted in the garden and get a good mulching each year with leaf mold. 
Autumn mix of Solidago flexiculis, Amsonia hubrecktii, native ex-asters and Rudbeckia fulgida
If you take a walk around Clay and Limestone you'll see lots of familiar fall faces. That's because  many of our natives are  also natives of the Eastern and Southeastern USA.   But, we have a few special ones that are only native to the cedar glades and if I can meet their requirements I like to give them a try. 


There might be a few friendly exotics and agastaches from the Southwest, but,  this garden is a  Central Basin garden  through and through.  In fact, if you were to visit  a nearby woodland you would see  almost all the same plants in bloom.  Solidagos, Symphyotrichums, Verbesinas, Conoclinium coelestinum, Eupatorium,  Panicums, Little Bluestems and even Chasmanthium latifolium are all  Central Basin natives that thrive on my nearly neutral, shallow clay soil. 


 Goregeous aren't they!


 They're the payoff for our long,  long hot summers.

xxoogail

I am a day late for Bloom Day but, offer up this humble post and the blooming wildflowers for your enjoyment.  Please pop over to May Dreams Gardens, where our delightful hostess has links to more Bloom Day posts then you can imagine.

22 comments:

  1. Gorgeous indeed! I love the last photo with the purple bench accenting the many colors of your garden.

    Our winters vary from year to year, but usually with more snow than rain. I know agastache don't like wet feet, but I'm hoping mine won't mind wearing snow boots for awhile.

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  2. I was going to say how wonderfully your purple garden furniture complements the flowers, and I see the first commenter has said the same thing. The asters are so pretty!

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  3. Rose and Deb, Staining the chairs and bench purple has been the best decision I made for the garden. Glad you both like it. gail

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  4. You bet they are gorgeous. Your entire garden is wonderful.

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  5. We also usually have autumn rains, but this year they have gone out of bounds beginning with Irene that did terrible damage. And lots of heavy rains since then with more promised for this week. Grrrrrr.

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  6. I've lost plants because of the wet winters too. I envy those rocks that you have in that picture. I wish our yard would produce a few more I could use in the garden for borders!

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  7. We have the same issue in Central NC with wet winters. It's quite a challenge as a gardener to find plants that can survive extreme hot, dry summers and tolerate wet also! I agree native plants do best.

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  8. Dear Gail, You must have a very strong back! You have certainly named Clay and Limestone to suit your terrain. The colors and features (especially your purple bench) are all fabulous! I love all the photos but a special wow! to the last one. So painterly. Lovely!!

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  9. You have made the silk purse out of the strange and growing stranger weather conditions, dear Gail. It is all beautiful, peaceful and exciting at the same time. I too, envy those rocks. But as a wise woman once said, be careful what you wish for.
    xxxooo
    Frances

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  10. Your garden is even lovelier than usual right now...and I have to agree with everyone...the bench is a wonderful foil.

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  11. That second photo is glorious! I want to sit in that chair...

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  12. ::: Sighing happily at the beauty of your garden :::

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  13. Almost sounds like you live in a Mediterranean climate. Here in Northern California we have that climate. We have dry summers and WET late falls, winters, and springs. :)

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  14. Love the spectrum of colours - burgundy leaves singing with golden flowers!

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  15. This is far more than a humble post. Your garden is awash with blooms in the fall. Thanks for joining in.

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  16. The successes you have had working WITH your soils are incredible. Wet clay over limestone...augh! Yet, your garden is vibrant and alive with lots and lots of colorful blooms. You are to be congratulated.

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  17. Your blooms beckon me to sit on that bench with you and chat about all things in the world. Peaceful and serene defines your garden.

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  18. And, it is so beautiful there. I have trouble with xeric plants too. They love summer, but it's too cold for them in winter. Everywhere is a microclimate. Happy Bloom Day my friend.~~Dee

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  19. And, it is so beautiful there. I have trouble with xeric plants too. They love summer, but it's too cold for them in winter. Everywhere is a microclimate. Happy Bloom Day my friend.~~Dee

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  20. Beautiful posts...and featuring some of my favorite plants! We don't have the scorching summers you do, but our winters are really wet...and are also the reason for most plant losses.

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  21. A combination of hot dry summers and wet winters are the hardest, but you've definitely made it work! No wonder you have to rely on natives. I love the picture of your purple chair in the middle of your beautiful garden and the fall colors.

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  22. Yes, gorgeous indeed! Even we in central Texas can have trouble with very xeric plants (though not this year. We're behind 21 inches of rain since last October, if you can believe it.) Still, in most years we get a decent amount of rain that can rot succulents that lack adequate drainage. Hey, it keeps things interesting, right?

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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