It may have been a sopping wet summer, but most people growing in Alabama know how ephemeral that can be.
So we knew we were interested when we heard that Hayes Jackson, an Urban Regional Extension Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Anniston, was presenting a workshop on gardening in dry places. We weren’t able to make it for the workshop itself, but Hayes was kind enough to give us (and allow us to share with you) a summary of what he has learned.
Hayes is all about finding the right plant for the right place. He encourages gardeners to stretch their horizons and try some plants that may not be familiar to us but yet are comfortable growing in dry conditions with little extra care. Hayes will be the first to admit that his focus is on ornamentals rather than plants grown for food, so Amanda and I found ourselves confronting a whole new world of plants with which we have little or no experience.
As promised, (and thanks to a great deal of research by Amanda), here is the list of plants Hayes called out as we talked:
- Fringetree or Grancy Gray Beard – Chionanthus virginicus
- Succulents with the common name stonecrop – genus Sedum.
- As compared to impatiens and begonia (which need more water)
- Century plant – genus Agave
- Red yucca or soft-tipped yucca plants – Hesperaloe parviflora
- Texas mountain laurel – Sophora secundiflora
- Nolina (Nolina texana)
- Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus)
- Maple Leaf Viburnum (viburnum acerifolium)
- Aucuba (Aucuba japonica)
- Mahonia (Mahonia spp.)
- Liriope (Liriope genus)
- Roof Iris (Iris tectorum)
- Alabama Snow Wreath (Neviusia alabamensis)
- Spirea (Spiraea spp.)
And here’s another source on Spirea