When we think of dry gardens Mediterranean climate gardening comes to mind. Areas of low rainfall and hot, dry and long summers. The landscapes of Greece and Southern Italy with Olive tree groves, dry dusty soil of poor quality and long stretches with little of no rain.
As I sit under the pergola writing this piece here in OZ we’re expecting 38 degrees (c) today and temperatures around 40 degrees for the rest of the week. The birches are shedding their leaves in disgust but the olive trees, sedum, echium and lavender all thrive.
Dry gardening isn’t just for these climates though. If you have a steep plot of land, even with terracing , there are often areas where the water is sparse and soil quality poor. Under large shady trees a dry micro-climate can exist so the concept of dry gardening extends beyond the immediate notion of very low rain climates.
In Australia we are used to low water/ no water gardening. My eye has adapted to brown dusty hillsides, red earth and water bores and tanks as the only source of water. Mediterranean style gardens or dry gardens abound where I live. There’s a particular art of garden design and planting involved in dry gardens.
About 20 kilometres from Ballarat, here in Victoria are the Lambley Gardens and Nursery. The property is located in the hamlet of Ascot. It’s mostly farming country with beautiful old homesteads scattered through the land. Lambley is worth a visit either on the website (see below) or for a day trip if you are visiting Victoria. David Glenn is a fine plantsman and designer and his gardens are inspirational. His partner Criss Canning is a recognised botanical artist specializing in still life. Her work is widely exhibited.
Lambley has formal garden areas as well as extensive vegetable and flower cutting gardens and htthe dry border garden. Simply stunning.
Lambley has seasonal catalogues of plants available from their nursery.
Do you have a dry garden? Tell us about how you designed and planted it. Photos would be great. See the CREATE FOR VIVA Link in the footer on this website if you would like to submit an article or leave a comment below.
Plants for a Mediterranean dry garden include
Agave Artemesia Sedum Cistus Grasses Euphorbia Echium Rosemary Bay Tree Salvia Lavender Mediterranean Cypress Santolina Grapes Lambs Ears
Sea Holly Yucca and many more!