The record rainfall, and the cooler than average temperatures of this spring are now disappearing into our rear view. True to form, coastal-south Georgia is being covered with a blanket of humidity, rising temperatures, and afternoon thunderstorms that do little to cool or irrigate. While the afternoon shower evaporates from the lawn, and the county prepares to mail out peak summer watering restrictions, it's time to consider drought resistant, low-maintenance plants to fill in some of our landscaping gaps.
One category of drought-resistant greenery that serves as effective borders or fillers are grass-like perennials. Australian breeder Todd Layt developed a winter and heat hardy ornamental grass that is an evergreen perennial, marketed in the US as Lomandra Breeze grass. This evergreen can be planted in shade or sun, bed or container, in mass or small quantity. Breeze grass grows best in well draining sand or soil and requires only occasional watering once it has taken root. One other Lomandra to consider is Katrinus Deluxe (Lomandra longifolia). Developed to bloom larger flowers in the spring than her sister Katrinus, the deluxe version is also low maintenance in that it does not require cutting back in the winter and thrives in low irrigation environments.
Dianella Little Becca, commonly referred to as Flax Lily (and more accurately as Paroo Lily) is another good choice for heat hardy space fillers, as well as a future investment into the colorful dimensions of a landscape for next spring. Little Becca has many of the qualities of Breeze grass, but with the added benefit of small violet flowers that bloom in spring, followed by blue berries.
Additionally, Dianella caerulea 'Cassa Blue,' also known as Flax Lily, has one of the longest flowering terms of any Dianella. Cassa Blue produces a yellow throated, purple flower from September through November.
Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata,' is another versatile Todd Layt creation.This variegated Dianella has spring blooms and the flexibility to grow in a light shade garden or in full coastal sun.
Another noteworthy and more recent member of the Dianella Flax Lily family is the 'Rainbow Twist.' The color pallet of her grassy leaves include a wide blue-green center, bordered by a creamy margin and an edge of reddish-purple. She shows off with a twist of her colorful leaves to expose both sides, as well as a spring pronouncement of violet flowers, like those of her cousins'.
We have barely scratched the surface of the vast number of perennials that "beat the heat" here in the coastal south. At our nurseries, we grow and distribute a wide range of green products that can serve to improve landscapes while also conserving water in the hottest parts of the summer. Whether for your home, your business, or your customers; we at Wise Nurseries invite you to partner with us on how we can help you select the best drought resistant green products to meet your needs.
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