The heat is here and it reminds us how lucky we are to have beautiful, waterwise perennials in our garden. With the increasing population here in Utah, conserving water is definitely a top priority.
There are many great resources in Utah for guidance on water conservation while gardening. We’ve shared many of these programs with you over the years: Utah Department of Water Resources, Conservation Garden Park, USU Extension Services, Red Butte Conservation Garden and Localscapes are all programs or resources we love. They all have Utah specific guidance with truly beautiful results.
Glover Nursery’s own landscape department participates in the Localscape design program. If you have done a Localscape design, you might have even worked with one of our experts to create your own waterwise oasis!
Our Top 7 Waterwise Perennials
These make our top 7 for a number of reasons: beauty, aromatic, quick to establish, pollinators love them, season round interest, and of course, water-wise. We were going to just do 5, but it was impossible to narrow the list down that far.
Commonly used for aromatherapy, Lavender is also an amazing plant for attracting pollinators. The purple flower wands bloom prolifically. The flowers create a lovely compliment to their grayish-green leaves and stems. Lavender loves the full sun and, once they are established, can tolerate a great deal of heat and drought.
Distinctive, fleshy foliage combined with bright flowers, Sedum is a great, waterwise addition to your garden design. They do better with more sun, tolerate low water well, and add a bright pop of color later in the season. The texture and color of the leaves prior to flowering add some visual interest and contrast in the mix.
These aromatic, showy, long blooming plants may as well be called “Hummingbirds love me”. They attract those elusive birds the second they start blooming. There are many varieties of Agastache available, some of them with very distinct black licorice smelling flowers in bright reds, yellows, purples, oranges and pinks.
This waterwise flower is a classic for a reason, Echinacea (aka Coneflower) makes top 5 lists frequently. The blooms are beautiful, they are easy to grow, available in all sorts of colors (we have 28 varieties of Coneflower right here at Glover’s!). Plus, it is well known for it’s healing medicinal properties – an effective immune system booster, very welcome these days!
- Coreopsis – A repeat bloomer is a great addition to any area needing summer color. The bright flowers pop all season long and, added bonus, in addition to being water-wise, is extremely low maintenance. Blooms come in a wide variety of colors make this an easy choice for any color scheme.
- Yucca – Rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-like leaves are extremely popular in desert areas for a reason, these are water-wise superstars. The come in a variety of colors and sizes and make a unique accent piece, especially when they bloom. During their bloom season, though it is shorter than the others on this list, the spectacluare sight of the tall stalks with bunches of white or cream flowers seem to hover above the leaves.
- Helianthemum – This waterwise flower is also commonly known as Rock Rose or Sun Rose. This is a great ground cover style perennial that resembles a flower carpet in mid to late summer. When this flowers, it is a show stopper. Deer resistant, disease-resistant, easy to prune, beautiful foliage when it isn’t blooming and truly breathtaking blossoms when it does, added to that list it is also a water-wise perennial…it is clear to see why we couldn’t leave this off the list.
One other plant category to consider are perennial grasses – while it is ‘grass’, they are not the lawn. Perennial grasses are waterwise and they add striking visual interest with nice contrast that compliments the blooming perennials listed above.
Of course, there are loads more waterwise plants to choose from than just these 7 (ok, 8) that will work for your project. Still, we hope this gives you a good starting point for your new park strip.
If you’re interested in learning more about waterwise solutions for your garden check out the “Flip Your Strip” rebate program. This wonderful program gives an easy way to start moving toward a waterwise yard. You can check out the guidelines and qualifications here. If you are eligible, you even get money for swapping out your lawn for some truly beautiful perennials.
While they do have a few fantastic examples of how you could design your park strip, the design options are limitless.
And, as always, if you have any questions, we are here to help. Come on down and see us at 9275 South 1300 West.