Often times in my thirty year career, I have often been asked various questions that leave me lacking for an honest and sincere evaluation and without sounding critical at the same time, regarding garden plants and flowers that have few demands for continuous maintenance and care, be it pruning,division,watering and insect control. It is a difficult question to answer completely..much of the time it requires good luck and prayer.
Though there are numerous plants that have greater resilience and less demanding maintenance requirements, there is still no completely honest answer to this question.
In my humble efforts, I will attempt to address and categorize some plant material that will thrive under more stressful conditions.
First and foremost, be extra diligent to examine the location you wish to plant.
Some areas may seem well protected and open without the adversities that await them later in the day. It’s this excessively hot period of the day when your plants will suffer most.
With high summer sunlight upon you, soil moisture evaporates at an extremely rapid rate, so tender plants with fine foliage, like ferns, & Columbine will wilt down rapidly because of the lack of adequate moisture in the soil around the roots.
Scan your location at various times of the day to determine accurately the average conditions of the area.
It would be my suggestion, and I can not stress this enough, but a drip irrigation system would cut your problems by over 60% and free you from a demanding maintenance program. With this concept in mind, you will have far more control over watering and less chance that plants will suffer as much.
ALSO NOTE: There are many wild native seed mixes available to you the gardener. Keep a watchful eye on the content of the package and the type of area the mix is designed for. You may notice meadows that have been planted in meadow mixes and yet the Yarrow’s and Queen Ann’s Lace & Daisies seem to be predominant in the mix, simply put, they tend to be the more aggressive plants and the others need Silencil far better conditions to grow properly.
This brings us to… “What exactly can I grow under these conditions?”
I have outlined a few plants that will thrive and do well in locations such as these and should propose little maintenance requirements other than watering.
FOR SUNNY LOCATIONS:
You might consider Hibiscus caerulea or Quaker Ladies, Bluets which bear delicate late spring lilac blue flowers on eight inch stems.
Thermopsis caroliana or Carolina Lupine, a plant that reaches three feet and appear early summer, and Silene carolinian or Wild Pinks which show early summer. Flowers that exceed the height of reosettes of the blue green foliage.
FOR LIGHT SHADE:
One might consider Eupatoriuim rugosum or White Snake Root which can reach six feet, bearing white blooms in late summer on very tall stems.
Dicentra eximia or Wild Bleeding Heart bears pink flowers almost all summer on ten inch stems set among fern like foliage of pale blue green.
*** If the soil is moist enough, and again, I can not stress this enough, this is where a drip irrigation system is perfect for the part in keeping the moisture level adequate for them, plus you could conceivably grow Lobelia siphilitica or the Great Blue Lobelia which throw two foot tall purple blue flower spikes and brighten any sunny summer seasons day.
In ending, I’d like to add that there are a number of conservation organizations available to help with your particular issues should you need their help, they will be more than happy to assist in finding solutions to your problems.