DROUGHT can mean different things to different people.
If we were to say that the average rainfall was 600 mls a year and we got say only 300 mls some might consider this as being in a drought.
So how do we deal with drought conditions that we are told will be the future of climate change.
It’s hard to grasp, but we are told that it will get drier, but then we will get more storms and rain.
Maybe we have to conserve more, just like some years ago when a lot of home builders were required to install water tanks to save on water.
But now the land set aside for housing is so small that there is maybe only room for a 3000 ltr. tank that fits on the side of a house.
There is little room these days to fit a large tank, so what benefit is there in having a smaller tank.
Maybe to water the garden so our plants get the benefit of these water tanks, but keep in mind that one hour’s use of the hose will take about a third of your tank of water.
So, in dry times, we once again have to conserve water, or do we?
Maybe, in planting a new garden. we look at planting such drought tolerant plants that accept drier conditions.
There are many plants that will grow with little water.
Some of those and certainly not a complete list, are most native plants that grow in our region and easily available from the council.
Plants like the wattles, need little water while some hibiscuses are excellent in drier conditions.
Callistemon (bottle brush) , lemon scented gum, flax lily and daisy come to mind, but read the labels and ask advice from your local nursery.
There are also plenty of vegetables that survive hotter conditions, get to know these and plant in hot parts of the garden.
A lot of the grasses will survive in warmer conditions, and with just a little water a lot of grevilleas will survive and thrive.
Even if you still like to grow plants that need water, maybe a cool spot near a wall or in the shade of a large tree, will survive with less watering.
As you browse around your local nursery, look out for the grey leafed plants, those with hairy leaves, or those plants with thin leaves that angle away from the sun.
Look out for scaly or tough wood stems, all more suitable for tough conditions.
Don’t forget the many cacti, which grow in desert conditions and flower with spectacular blooms in season.
Or a pond simply made, that can be topped up occasionally with small ferns and water plants around the edges for effect.
These can make a dry garden seem like an oasis.
By just planning a little, the dry conditions need not deter us from planting a colourful display.