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Tough Garden Plants


There are people in the world with green fingers that can bring life to the desert.  Then, there are those people who enjoy the garden bench cushions too much and would rather the plants grew all by themselves.  If you are part of the crowd of people who need outdoor plants that are hard to kill, then this is the article for you.  We explore those tough outdoor plants that don’t mind the drought and can also deal with a soaking.  The plants that can get shrouded by weeds and still miraculously flourish once you unearth them into the sunshine once more.


Let’s start simple but stunning.  The emergence of the first splash of daffodils is like a wake-up from a long sleep.  Each year when the weather becomes warm enough, these beauties push up and through the cold soil. All you need to do to guarantee year on year bloom in its increasing density of flower is plant some bulbs.  Space the bulbs several inches apart to create small colonies of flowers and give room for them to spread. That’s it.  You will forget you’ve planted them and then every spring there they are, like a long-lost friend.

Feather Reed Grass

Ornamental grasses are the best pal of those of us that are more relaxed about our gardening.  These grasses grow in the wild and have evolved to survive most pests and the worst the weather can offer.  Feather reed grass will be happy in dry or wet soils, and if you are in a new build where the topsoil was stripped away and replaced with scree, you will experience joy too.  Even if you are an avid gardener, this is an excellent choice for the back of your beds to add some vertical interest that will last into the autumn.

Bee Balm

If you cannot grow many plants in your garden because for much of the year it is a festering bog of overly wet soil, then Bee Balm is your hardy plant of choice.  The Bee Balm loves a soggy garden and will grow in the most stunning clumps of blue, red, white or pink flowers.  As the name suggests, these are an excellent choice for attracting pollinators, butterflies as well as bees.  This plant is a little bit of a bully and will spread outside its space pretty rapidly, so your only problem is to hold back its eagerness to grow.

Dead Nettle

Another plant that grows at a furious pace is Dead Nettle.  Don’t be fooled by the name.  This is no stinging weed.  This plant offers a stunning display of purple flowers that resemble the snapdragon.  Dead Nettle has shallow roots that run along the ground, trailing their flowers everywhere.  You can pull up some of the extras and transplant them to your hanging baskets, where they will happily dangle over the sides.

Cat Mint

Bees love this purple flower with its grey-green foliage.  The flowers are rich in nectar and appear throughout the summer months and into early autumn.  This is a perennial and like with any plant with the name “mint” it will grow aggressively across your border.  However, if you want something stunning to overtake your garden, why not choose Cat Mint.


If you are a nervous gardener, you would take one look at the Daylily and decide that you are going to kill this outdoor plant in a matter of weeks.  It looks delicate, with its vibrant fire-like colour scheme is too distinct and beautiful to thrive without care.  However, if you pay attention as you walk around the corporate office gardens in the city, you will notice that this is pretty much a staple.  This is because it looks luxurious and as if it takes much care when a little bit of water and the odd fertilization and it does its work by itself.


Sedum is officially an invasive variety of plant that can tolerate prolonged drought.  This stonecrop will survive for years, even when you forget to water, divide, mulch or deadhead.  It will just do its thing and creep along until it is suddenly in control.  This description makes sedum sound a little sinister.  It is actually really quite beautiful and choosing the popular Autumn Joy will give you abundant pink flowers well into the September and even October.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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