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by Tracy
(Fairfield, OH, USA)

I live in Fairfield, Ohio and I was wondering what flowers would you reccomend planting at my school?

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Tracey, you are in planting zone 5, which means there are lots of plants to choose from that will do well for you.

There are a couple of things to take into consideration.

As this is a school, will there be someone to take care of the plants in the summer?

If not, then you’ll need some kinds of early blooming plants (before school gets out in June) that will thrive on low care while classes are out in the summer, and then continue to bloom or have another season of bloom in the fall.

Here are a few plants that might fit these criteria:

For a perennial garden (one that doesn’t require re-planting every year) you’ll be best off with some kinds of plants that thrive on neglect.

For an area in full sun why not try some daylilies (Hemerocallis). Stella d’Oro is a good one that doesn’t get really big, and will repeat bloom for at least three weeks or more in June.

Echinacea, the Purple Coneflower is a good bet to plant where it will get some water, possibly with an automatic irrigation system, and it will bloom well into the late summer and fall.

Rudbeckia, the Black Eyed Susan is perfect for vibrant fall colour in oranges and browns.

I highly recommend some of my favorite plants intermingled with these taller perennials such as Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’, which may bloom before school is out in the spring, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, which is a taller border type, grown for it’s lush pale blue green leaves, and brocolli like flowers through the fall, and underplant with many varieties and species of my favorite hardy succulents, Sempervivum or hens and chicks.

Round out your selection with some ornamental grasses, and sprinkle annual seeds among the perennials to give instant colour until they get a little bigger. Some that I recommend are California Poppies, Nolana, Phacelia, Nasturtium and Alyssum.

This will give you colour, texture and low maintenance, all in one beautiful package.


See also these pages for more ideas:

Xeric Plants


Xeric Gardens