I love to garden. I enjoy being outside in the fresh air. That is until mid June. That's when the humidity rises. And it's not fit for man or beast. That's why my plants must accept neglect. Over the years I have found that some plants perform better than others. I look for plants that are heat tolerant, drought resistant, and accepts neglect. Unlike a lot of yards in the Sun Belt, my yard has a lot of shade. Thanks to 4 massive oak trees. I also have a nice micro-climate on the side that keeps areas a little cooler than the rest of the yard. Not that my yard doesn't have problems. There are strange soil conditions that kill some plants. There's an entire section of my yard that refuses to let anything live. Except for green beans. You can guess what I plant there now. On with my list.
Daylilies. Daylilies are the easiest thing in the world to grow. They provide nice greenery when not in bloom. In really cold weather they die back. Mine are generally just brown in the winter. Every year they come back and bloom. Every 3 - 5 years I do have to dig them up and separate them. They multiply like crazy. The blooms last for only one day, obviously. Yet, they can have multiple blooms. I water them, when I remember. Sometimes I will give them a drink of Bloom Buster or bulb feeder. Usually that happens in the Spring, when I'm in a gardening mood. They take a lot of abuse and keep coming back.
Lantana. These are wonderful plants. They have nice, textured leaves. They fill you yard with a spicy scent. They do have berries, don't let the kids eat them. These are treated the same as my daylilies. I water and feed on occasion. Usually during times of drought. Lantanas are sun loving plants. The sun here is so hot and strong, I have them in partial sun. They are huge. Mine have grown to 3 feet tall and probably 3 feet across. I trim them back every winter. Every year I am rewarded for my laziness with beautiful pink and yellow blossoms.
Verbena. Verbena are the short siblings of the Lantana. They spread out more than grow up. They also like the full sun. I do have mine in the full sun, right around the mailbox. Terrible soil there. They do very well. Not as well as if they were somewhere else. They get more water than the other plants. They are only 3 feet from the vegetable garden, so there is no excuse for me not to water them. Mine have beautiful yellow flowers every year. Pereodically my husband mows them over. Yet, they still live!
Louisiana Walking Iris. This is an amazing little flower. As you may guess, they spread by growing a miniature plant at the end of a stalk. That plant will grow into another Iris. It's really cool. It has a beautiful pale yellow and purple flower. The flower blooms for only 1 day. There are different opinions on water for this plant. Some say it like wet feet, others say no. My experience has been, it will tolerate wet feet, but does fine in a drought. Mine are planted just in front of my Lantana. So it has partial to full shade. Limited watering and feeding. The Iris usually stays green through winter. In really harsh winters it will dis back.
Elephant Ears. These are the star of my back yard. Translation, the only water it gets is rain. I have giant elephant ears. My youngest used one of the leaves as an umbrella on the way to school one day! They are totally neglected. I do occasionally weed and add dirt to the raised bed. The dog runs through it all winter, messing up the dirt. Every year they come back, bigger and better. If they had a flower they would be perfect! They are in a micro climate. It is a good 5 degrees cooler in the back yard and lots of shade. It also gets more of a breeze. Again, they are totally neglected!
These are all easy plants to grow. They perform well with minimum effort. They do amazing for real gardeners! They are ideal for the humid and hot climate of lower Alabama.