Depending on where you live and the soil conditions Mother Nature has blessed you with, you may find that your garden falls in to one of the ‘tough’ categories. Although it can seem a bit of a stretch on an all too common rainy afternoon, there are in fact many parts of the British Isles who find their gardens err on the side of hot and dry.

With this in mind, today we’re going to look at gardening for your hot and dry garden.

Top tips
If you find your lawn, or even your plants, turning brown over the summer, then looking out for specific types of plants is vital. Keep your eyes peeled for silver-leaved plants commonly originating in the Mediterranean. These plants have their own built-in sunscreen and often have the added benefit of being aromatic too.

Other options are plants that are known for their water storing qualities. Seedums, alliums, salvia and penstemons are all great options and have excellent drought resisting skills.

Gravel Gardening
If you struggle to keep your lawn green and springy through long hot summers, do have a think about installing a gravel garden instead.

A gravel garden is a great alternative to a lawn as it can’t die and is hardwearing. Though admittedly less easy on the old knees, gravel gardens are very easy to install. First cover the area to be gravelled with a tough weed-proof membrane, then cover with a good layer of gravel. You can even plant by cutting holes in the membrane and planting directly through it. Though initially quite an expensive outlay, this kind of garden will last for years and be relatively maintenance free.

Sunny borders
The best plants to fill your sunny borders are silver-leaved or water storing. Plants like, lilies, gladiolus, marigolds, and petunia are more than happy in a sunny border. Shrubs like lavender (we always love the lavender), buddleia, lilacs, and roses all do well in bright sunny conditions as well. If you’re in the market for climbing plants, go for clematis, passion flower, and jasmine.


Giving plants in sunny borders a good drenching every other day is preferable to a quick daily sprinkle. These guys like to drink deeply. You can help out by making sure you add a really good layer of mulch seasonally, or by adding a deep layer of decorative bark. Both methods really help to improve water retention and so help to stop plants drying out so quickly.

Planting for a hot dry garden can be really satisfying. It can also be a bit of a worry when it comes to the British winter (let’s not talk about that too much eh?). As long as you ensure young plants are established as soon as the risk of frost has passed, as well as adding a good layer of mulch and well-rotted organic matter, your young plants will have had plenty of time to settle in before winter arrives.