365: Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 20








Body, Mind, Spirit

Drought tolerant plants photographed this week, top to bottom, are as follows:

This week I decided to focus on drought tolerant plants, partly to protect myself against photo-failure in the event of another heat wave (good move, we had triple digits), and partly to showcase the variety and color you can still achieve for your garden with drought tolerant, hardy plants.

All of these plants require full sun and little water with the exception of the night blooming iris, which is only drought tolerant once it’s established. If you are a completely negligent gardener, then the agapanthus is for you. The Mister and I pulled a huge clump out out of the front yard when we were first married and because it was a long day and agapanthus are dirt cheap here, we tossed them on the backyard patio with the intent to plant them the next day. It never happened until the following weekend, and by that point they looked like wilted green onions. I’m not sure why we planted them anyway, but we did, and those things came back strong within 24 hours and without extra care! We couldn’t believe it. You can’t kill those things. I love the white ones–so rare around here–en masse. They’re hydrangeas for the sunshine state.

I heard from a few people that lantana grows in several parts of the US (and abroad), and it’s always interesting to hear how plants tolerate different zones. I hear on the East Coast lantana is an annual, and that in Australia it’s a noxious weed. In my part of southern California it’s a shrub that stays green all year and flowers nonstop during the summer. It’s made for our environment. The hotter it gets, the brighter and more voluminous the blooms.

I only took pictures of plants I could easily name, so there were plenty of other drought tolerant plants I recognized but didn’t photograph. Not knowing the name and not being able to research it and confirm that it was drought tolerant would drive me bonkers. I should buy a pocket plant identifier book. I’m sure something like that exists.

Our climate in the Inland Empire allows us to grow a wide variety of plants, but there are a few plants you don’t see around around here except for in the refrigerated section of a florist or Trader Joes. Peonies, for example, are a no-go. We could make them bloom, maybe, but it’d be a poor showing. I’ve never seen a garden with lilacs. The closest I have ever come to moss is in craft stores and after years of searching, I’ve let go of the dream of owning a bird’s nest fern. I’ve never seen one around here, not even as a houseplant.

Note that I said Inland Empire in the above paragraph. California is such a big state, and with such a variety of climates, that what works for me wouldn’t work for someone living an hour from me–and for entirely different reasons depending on whether they live an hour east, west, north and south.

The world is so small these days. How do these drought tolerant (cheap, water friendly) plants compare to what’s inexpensive and plentiful in your neck of the woods?

Song of the Week

It is What it It — Kacey Musgraves

This is the best video I could find since there isn’t an official video out.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Sandy says

    I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This is the time of year when we all walk out of our homes and shake our heads and start cutting things back, a LOT! It finally stopped raining a few weeks ago. Drought tolerant is not an issue here!

  2. Susan G says

    In Florida I think of lantana as a weed (in the sense that it grows wild all over the place) but I see it sold in plant stores all the time. Don’t know why people pay for it. It supposedly keeps away mosquitoes – ha! Maybe it does, but it’s hard to imagine they’d be worse without the lantana around.

    I like the juxtaposition (that’s such a fun word to say!) of the agapanthus and the bottle brush – so different from each other!

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