A beautiful garden bed doesn’t have to be a beast when it comes to watering. This simple plan harnesses the staying power of seven plants that won’t miss a beat if rainfall becomes sporadic. These plants peak in late summer and early fall, but a variety of shapes and textures ensure interest at other times of the year as well. Leave the stems and foliage of grasses and perennials in place for winter interest, cutting them down in early spring before new growth resumes. Give this bed a sunny spot with good drainage, then step back and enjoy! In cold climates, substitute a hardier grass for pampas grass, such as Miscanthus.
A) ‘Gateway’ Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum), Zones 5–11
B) Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), Zones 5–9
C) ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reedgrass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora), Zones 5–9
D) Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Zones 4–9
E) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), Zones 4–9
F) ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum (Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’), Zones 3–10
G) ‘Pumila’ pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), Zones 6–10