The Q&A Archives: Hot Dry Border Plants

Question: I have been trying to find plants or plants I can start from seed by direct sowing. The area is around a paver porch and about 5 ft from a silver maple. The ground gets very dry and some of the roots from the tree are a problem.
There is also heat radiated from the concrete pavers that are a clay color. My house in a orange, brown and beige brick, so I also need a color that will stand out and bloom all summer. This area is in the front of the house. I have ammended to soil and I do use mulch to help hold in the moisture and to keep the roots cool, but nothing seems to grow as well as it should. Any suggestion would be a great help!

Answer: Sounds like a tough spot for all but the hardiest rock-garden type plants. The tree roots will compete for moisture, so keep the area well watered to help your plants remain healthy. If you plant a variety, you'll have color all summer long. Here are some choices: Achillea (yellow flowers), Gazania (warm oranges, yellows and off-whites), Verbena, Baileya multiradiata (desert marigold), Coreopsis (yellow), Gaillardia (multicolored blooms in red, orange and yellow), Salvia, Zinnia, Santolina and Perovskia (Russian sage). Hope one, or all of the above is just what you're looking for!

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