What is a Dry Garden?
According to James Basson of Scape Design, “a dry Garden is a garden that breathes”. The definition is in the name; dry gardens require minimal water and attention after the initial planting and growing phase. Dry gardens are also low maintenance and thrive in hot weather. Don’t mistake dry for dull, spiky, and harsh dry landscapes. Dry gardens can still look soft, have lush and vibrant foliage, and have soft textures.
Reasons to Create a Dry Garden
- Dry gardens are one of the most sustainable options for your backyard because they use up much less water than regular gardens. Dry gardens favour drought-tolerant plants, which minimises reliance on irrigation and rainwater to survive.
- You will not need to weed, trim or fertilise your plants as much.
- Dry gardens promote biodiversity due to an ecosystem that provides pollinators with a long season of nectar-producing plants. Good for wildlife and the environment!
Dry Garden Design Ideas
Reduce Lawn Space
In your dry garden, especially in a front garden, take into account how much lawn is truly essential. Remove it from areas where its presence isn't really necessary. Large lawns are not the most attractive feature of a yard and require a lot of upkeep, including frequent mowing and watering in the summer.
When there is no aesthetic consideration, a sizable lawn is frequently justified by the requirement for a walkable surface. However, the amount of space needed for that is usually overestimated.
You might want to scratch your lawn space completely, or you could create a space your little explorers can enjoy. They can use the 5-in-1 backyard explorer set from the Officeworks catalogue to create their own fairy garden. Or, you can get them to take a walk with you in the dry garden and collect bugs for the Bug House in the catalogue.
Give the Area Around Your Swimming Pool a Makeover
You will spend a lot of time by the poolside in hotter months, so why not accessorise? Cover patches around the swimming pool area with pebbles and variations of succulents for a sculpted look. Don’t be afraid to incorporate larger stones into the design as well.
Dry Garden Plant Combinations
Instead of focusing on the colour of the flowers, you should contrast their forms and textures. Bring out the unique qualities of plants so they complement one another. Repetition of a colour or certain shapes of plants establishes a rhythm and directs the eye through the garden design, giving it a consistent look.
For a soft, grassy, dry garden, combine Cistus x skanbergii (Dwarf Pink Rockrose) with Sesleria Autumnalis (Autumn Moor Grass), Stipa gigantea (Golden Oats) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s ear).
For a light, dry garden with an airy feel, try combining plants like Teucrium fruticans (Tree Garmander) with Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote’ (Lavender) and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather Reed Grass) mixed with Stipa gigantea (Golden Oats).
For a more vibrant and colourful dry garden, place Stipa gigantea behind clumps of Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feathergrass), the golden-yellow Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’, the shrubby hybrid Achillea filipendulina ‘Parker’s Variety’, and the rich purple-coloured Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ (Catmint) and Iris ‘Syncopation’.
Most dry gardens imitate Mediterranean garden designs, and you can always look for inspiration online or in books like Garden design illustrated.
Other recommended plants include rosemary, santolina, euphorbia, potentilla, geranium and bergenia.
How to Plan for Your Dry Garden
- Look at the condition of your garden.
- Choose plants that have both ‘low water requirements’ and plants that have drought tolerance. Unless you are in a drought area, you want to have a balance of both.
- Start small. Try to buy the plants before they have grown completely, so that they have a chance to grow deep roots. Shallow root systems are counter-productive because they will make your plants susceptible to drought and heat. To encourage deep roots, break up the soil before you plant, and make the planting hole deep and water heavily once in a while.
- Take a slow growth approach. Don’t feed or fertilise the plants. Growing them slowly will ensure that they are stronger and more resilient. If you feed plants that come from, they may grow well for several years and then die suddenly.
- Mulch is essential. Mulching helps keep roots cool and, more importantly, retains moisture in the soil. To prepare the ground for planting dry gardens, a substantial amount of material must be worked in. Anything that may increase drainage, including gravel, sand, crushed concrete or wood chips.
- Before planting, pay attention to the soil; your garden will do much better as a result. Use a lot of completely decomposing organic matter and maintain good soil aeration; preferably, use your own compost where it is appropriate for the plants you have chosen.
How to Create a Garden Border:
The structure of a dry garden is usually a garden border, and to create one you can follow these simple steps:
- When selecting your plot, think about where your boundary will be in relation to shade and sunshine. Knowing your surroundings can help you choose the right plants.
- Measure the area - this is important so you can think about the size of the plants and how many you need to buy.
- Do your research - there are several different styles; be sure you have a vision from which to pick your plants.
- Stick to the basics - Borders don't have to be complicated to make, but they might seem cluttered if they are. Your border will be more cohesive if you use a simple colour scheme and allow for plant repetition.
- Mark the area- Draw an outline for your new bed with your hose.
- Remove the grass - by carefully cutting a form into the turf with a spade, lifting it off in slices, and removing any extraneous debris like rocks or roots.
- Create a trench that is about 8 inches deep to edge your border.
- Position your plants so that you may perfect the look of your border and acquire the ideal spacing.
- Plant - dig holes that are the same size as the container, depending on the size of your plants.
- Spread Mulch - To keep your soil moist add a layer of mulch to your border to maintain it healthy and low-maintenance.
- Water - After your border has been planted and mulched, make sure to thoroughly water your plants.
This post first appeared on ExpertEasy, please read the originial post: here