A perennial is a plant that persists for many growing seasons, unlike an annual which only lasts one growing season (for more information, check out our blog post on the difference between annuals and perennials). There is such a wide variety of perennial plants that it’s easy to incorporate them into any type of landscape, including a xeriscape. Xeriscaping is the practice of conserving water through landscaping. This trend is growing in popularity not only because it’s good for the environment, it also saves property owners money on water costs and requires less time needed for replanting. Paths and walkways are great places to plant drought-resistant perennials to ensure that everyone who visits your property enjoys beautiful landscaping especially as they enter buildings or along parking areas. Here are five of the best perennials to create a beautiful xeriscaped walkway.
Lavender Hidcote is a tall, purple flower known for its wonderful fragrance and its tendency to attract butterflies. It prefers hot, sunny and dry air and well-drained soil, making it the perfect choice for western climates. Lavender Hidcote does not require regular watering and will thrive on just 9-12 inches of rain per year. You can expect to see this plant bloom in mid to late summer.
Yarrow consists of flower heads full of small, tightly packed flowers and aromatic leaves. This plant blooms from mid-summer to fall and typically grows to be two to four feet tall. It grows best when planted in well-drained soil with full sun. Yarrow is known for being durable and tolerating dry spell, so it is a perfect low-maintenance yet beautiful addition to any walkway.
Echinacea, better known as coneflowers, are colorful daisy-like flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early fall and can grow up to five feet tall. They thrive in areas with full sun and poor soil. These plants are drought resistant and do not require fertilization. You will see beautiful flowers return year after year with very little work if you choose this plant for your property.
Hens and Chicks are succulent plants that get their name from their rosette shape and their ability to produce multiple offspring. They come in a range of colors from green to beautiful pinks and reds. Hens and Chicks are best grown in poor soil with full sun and require very little water. Since these plants thrive in rocky soils, they are perfect for planting in the cracks of stone walkways. Just be sure you stepping stones are raised as these plants will not tolerate much foot traffic.
Lady’s Mantle is a clumping perennial that forms green foliage made up of soft, scallop-shaped leaves and yellow-green flowers which bloom in late spring to early summer. It makes for the perfect ground cover to define the boundaries of a walkway or outdoor path. Lady’s Mantle can tolerate full shade or full sun. It does not need to be watered often unless it is planted in full sun or during high temperatures, making it a relatively low-maintenance option.