Real World Gardener Design Elements part 2 Which Plants for Drought

April 14th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

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with landscape designer Louise McDaid
Continuing on the series in drought proofing your garden, you’ll find out why some plants are more hardy than others.

It’s not so much which plant breeder did or didn’t do, but more about particular plant adaptations that make some plants better at coping with lack of water than others.

Needle like leaves, grey leaves, leaves with hairs on them and hard leaves are all adaptations to dry conditions.
1-DSC_0198.JPGIn fact, Australian plants have the most obvious adaptations to dry conditions.
Sclerophyll means hard leaf, and the Sclerophyll forests of Australia are plants that have adapted to the harsher conditions of the last few thousand years. 

1-DSC_0283.JPGGrey leaves reflecting the sun's rays, and leaves that hang down with their edge to the sun, as in Eucalypts, are a prime example.

The needle like leaves of many Banksias are exposing a  reduced surface area to the sun. Also the reduced leaf has few stomata, meaning fewer avenues for water to escape in transpiration.
You don’t have to just plant cactus and succulents. There are many natives and non native plants that fit this description.

Now you have the tools to look at plants in the nursery and decide yourself if they’ll grow in dry conditions.

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