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Drought Resistant Garden Friends

One of my favorite drought-resistant plants is fruity teucrium. I use it in the a narrow point at the end of my side yard, next to tansy. Both do well with little water. This photo above was taken in May 2016, three years after I planted these, when the fruity teucrium was in bloom. It acts as a low ground cover. The lighter color green plant within it is tansy, which blooms later.

Before I planted these garden friends, I had a very bare triangular side bed I was trying to fill. I planted the fruity teucrium and the tansy closest to the point at the end of the bed. When I planted them I thought the tansy would take up the most room and be taller. I had read that tansy was invasive, so I had expected it to take most of the space. The pot of tansy I bought actually had two plants, one much bigger than the other.  I planted the tiny one in the tip of the angle. The fruity teucrium was planted in the middle, and the larger tansy at the other end of the tip.  Here’s how they looked after planting.

I always tend to underestimate how fast plants grow, or how big they will get. I had intended the tansy to fill the tip and the fruity teucrium to fill the space between the tansy plants. The fruity teucrium blooms first and has pretty much quit by the time the tansy decides to bloom.

A year later, in July 2014, this triangle looked like this. You can see the tansy is now in bloom. The fruity teucrium has stopped blooming, but browning flowers remain. The tansy is overtaking the flowerbed and has almost buried the fruity teucrium.

Same Triangle Tip in July 2014. The tansy is in bloom.

By August 2015, the tansy blooms have died down and the fruity teucrium is dominant in the point. The smaller tansy seems to have disappeared.

It’s a shame these garden friends have such rivalry and bloom separately. I wish I had planted them farther apart. If I had to choose between them, I’d probably pick the fruity teucrium. As you can see below, the bees love it. I planted tansy because it’s supposed to repel ants. It didn’t bother the ants at all on my property.

Bees on Fruity Teucrium in May 2016

This year, so far, there is hardly a trace of the tansy. I see only two or three plants trying to find their way to the light through the fruity teucrium, which seems to be the winner in the race to dominate.

What do you think?

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