Plant Torture? Not Necessarily.

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A couple of years ago a client told me she wanted to drive into her driveway to a beautiful garden and asked me to design one for her. Easy enough request. She also wanted to screen off the back yard with some trelliage but didn’t want climbers on it. Easy enough request. She wanted a deer resistant cottage style garden in her favorite color combination–blue and yellow. Again, easy enough request.

When the trellis work was installed, there was only one logical place for it so that’s where it went. What was left for this garden of easy enough requests was a 30″ wide bed between the fence and the blacktop in the blazing sun where the plow would push the snow in the winter months. Not so easy any more. These types of garden problems are what landscape designers excel at and when it really makes sense to consult with a professional.

Heat loving, deer resistant driveway garden

Now three years later, the garden is thriving without irrigation or much care and it looks great. What’s the secret? Plant choice. All of the plants chosen for this garden are drought tolerant, heat and sun loving, and tough as nails.

Here’s the list:

Agastache x ‘Black Adder’
Achillea ‘Moonshine’
Baptisia austrailis
Iris germanica
Stachys byzantina
Sorghastrum nutans ‘Sioux Blue’

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  1. Sarah from Toronto Gardens

    Beautiful combo. Good to know they are tough too. Really want to get Agastache "Black Adder". Sounds gorgeous.

    Plus that trellis/fence is divine.

  2. Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel

    Ms R, re: Agastache… I can't seem to keep it going here. Do you think it requires a cold winter/dormancy? On second thought, I'm trying to recall which species/cultivars I've planted, only to have them fade away. Summer-dry climate the problem? Alice

  3. Susan aka Miss. R

    Thanks Sarah. Bay Area–Black Adder is a cross between Agastache rugosum and Agastache foeniculum which would say to me that it needs sharp drainage with cold wet winters. That's what we've got here…well you have to create the drainage in most places.

  4. Your new blog design is wonderful; I really like it. Congrats on solving your design problem, though I don’t get why someone would want a trellis without climbers!

  5. Susan aka Miss. R

    Thanks Elizabeth. I wouldn’t want a trellis without climbers either but I wasn’t the client!

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