The dry, sunny microclimate of Ongar presents us with the challenge of gardening with less water. 

On the positive side, we can also use mediterranean and exotic (looking) plants which will last until October and beyond.

Here's a small selection that we like.

Click on the plant name to link to the RHS website for more information.

Top five drought resistant plants

1. Abelia × grandiflora       

2. Buxus sempervirens              

3. Ceanothus                             

4. Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii     

5. Sedum spectabile

Hanging baskets and pots in sunny places

Zinnia

Small shrubs

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ AGM: 60cm x 90cm (2ft x 3ft) 

Halimium: Height and spread variable according to cultivar

Hebe: Height and spread variable according to cultivar

Lavandula (lavender): Height and spread variable according to cultivar
Nandina domestica (sacred bamboo) AGM: 2m x 1.5m (6ft x 5ft)
Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’ AGM: 1.2m x 1m (4ft x 3ft)
Santolina chamaecyparissus AGM: 50cm x 50cm (20in x 3ft)

Medium-large shrubs

Abelia × grandiflora AGM: 3m x 4m (10ft x 12ft)

Arbutus unedo AGM: 8m x 8m (25ft x 25ft)
Callistemon citrinus: Height and spread variable according to cultivar

Olearia macrodonta AGM: 6m x 5m (20ft x 15ft)

Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius  ‘Silver Jubilee’ AGM: 2-3m x 1.5m (6-10ft x 5ft)

Herbaceous perennials

Baptisia australis AGM: 1.5m x 60cm (5ft x 2ft)
Euphorbia: Height and spread variable according to cultivar
Eryngium: Height and spread variable according to cultivar

Echinops: Height and spread variable according to cultivar

Osteospermum jucundum AGM: Height 10-50cm (4-20in) Spread 50-90cm (20in-3ft)
Verbena including V. rigida AGM and V. bonariensis AGM:  Height and spread variable according to cultivar

Climbers

Campsis: 10m (30ft)
Eccremocarpus scaber AGM: 3-5m (10-15ft)
Jasminum officinale: 12m (40ft)
Passiflora caerulea (e.g. ‘Constance Elliott’ AGM): 10m (30ft)

Solanum crispum: 6m (20ft)

Palms

Drought-resistant planting. Credit: RHS Advisory

Cordyline australis AGM: 3-10m x 1-4m (10-30ft x 3-13ft)
Trachycarpus fortunei AGM: (20m x 2.5m (70ft x 8ft)