Dry Gardens in England (8 of 21) | RHS Wisley Gardens, Surrey, UK

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Dry Gardens in England (8 of 21) | RHS Wisley Gardens, Surrey, UK
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Image by ukgardenphotos
Dry Garden at RHS Wisley, England: The gardens at RHS Wisley contain an area which is predominantly devoted to a ‘dry’ garden. This is close to the large and impressive tropical and sub-tropical greenhouses and contains plantings of Kniphofia, Achilleas and other drought tolerant plants in impressive naturalistic swathes – all interspersed with gravel paths and mulches.

Dry Gardens in England: Interest in ‘dry’ gardens has grown considerably over the past few years. Although people often view England as a ‘green and pleasant land’ with plentiful rainfall, this is not always the case. The east of the country is much, much drier than the west and in recent years much of Eastern England was subject to a ban on using hosepipes for garden irrigation. Weather patterns in the country seem to be getting more extreme and in 1996 the annual rainfall in the East Anglia region was less than that in Jerusalem or Beirut! These changes in weather patterns have stimulated gardener’s interest in growing more drought tolerant plants – which never need irrigation.

Many of the plants suited to dry gardens, such as Giant Verbascums, Perennial Grasses and Euphorbias also provide the garden with bold architectural statements giving all year round interest. When they have finished flowering many drought tolerant plants have stems and seed heads which look good and hold up well even when the first frosts arrive.

The hardiness rating of many plants also seems to be extended in dry garden conditions too. In these conditions plants seem better able to tolerate the cold winters as long as their roots don’t get waterlogged .

So, dry gardens really offer many advantages – no irrigation, some great architectural plants, a long season of interest, better hardiness rating and relatively low maintenance too. The other bonus is that plants that are happy in these conditions will often self-seed and propagate freely. With all these benefits I am sure we will be seeing many more dry gardens in the UK in the coming years!

© 2014 ukgardenphotos

Dry Gardens in England (5 of 21) | Giant Alliums in Dry Garden at RHS Gardens Hyde Hall, Essex, UK
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Image by ukgardenphotos
Dry Gardens at RHS Hyde Hall, Essex, England: The dry garden is a key feature of RHS Hyde Hall – situated in an area of England with very low rainfall (e.g. 24” or less). Placed on a windswept hill, this part of the garden is a great example of drought tolerant planting with a wide array of plants from arid climates. Here the visitor will find Verbascums, Euphorbias, Alliums, Fennels, Phormiums, Echinopsis, Grasses, Lavenders, etc., all doing well in the English climate. Due to the high level of interest in drought tolerant plants the RHS have recently considerably extended the area of this dry garden. This new section is already starting to look interesting, but will probably take another couple of years to fully mature.

Dry Gardens in England: Interest in ‘dry’ gardens has grown considerably over the past few years. Although people often view England as a ‘green and pleasant land’ with plentiful rainfall, this is not always the case. The east of the country is much, much drier than the west and in recent years much of Eastern England was subject to a ban on using hosepipes for garden irrigation. Weather patterns in the country seem to be getting more extreme and in 1996 the annual rainfall in the East Anglia region was less than that in Jerusalem or Beirut! These changes in weather patterns have stimulated gardener’s interest in growing more drought tolerant plants – which never need irrigation.

Many of the plants suited to dry gardens, such as Giant Verbascums, Perennial Grasses and Euphorbias also provide the garden with bold architectural statements giving all year round interest. When they have finished flowering many drought tolerant plants have stems and seed heads which look good and hold up well even when the first frosts arrive.

The hardiness rating of many plants also seems to be extended in dry garden conditions too. In these conditions plants seem better able to tolerate the cold winters as long as their roots don’t get waterlogged .

So, dry gardens really offer many advantages – no irrigation, some great architectural plants, a long season of interest, better hardiness rating and relatively low maintenance too. The other bonus is that plants that are happy in these conditions will often self-seed and propagate freely. With all these benefits I am sure we will be seeing many more dry gardens in the UK in the coming years!

© 2014 ukgardenphotos

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