The Pacific Northwest gets plenty of rain all winter long. In fact, the region is world-famous for this fact. However, what is less well-known is that the summers are often bone-dry.

Your lawn and plants start to suffer when the dry spells go on for too long.

The challenge for Portland property owners is to design a landscape that can handle long periods of gray, rainy days, then three months of dry heat. This post covers drought tolerant landscaping ideas, including the following:

  • Drought resistant native plants
  • Landscaping without grass
  • Full sun plants
  • Efficient watering systems

Drought Resistant Native Plants

The beauty of native-plant landscapes is that they generally require very little water.

Since water bills can often be quite high, particularly in Portland, maintaining a low-water profile is necessary.

Here in the Northwest, there is a wide range of beautiful plants you can plant that will be able to weather the dry summer season. In fact, you can have your lawn blooming from spring through to the start of autumn if you like.

A skilled Portland landscape contractor can recommend the best options for your yard.

Landscaping Without Grass

This may sound odd, but your best bet for a low-water solution is to forgo large sections of grass in your landscape.

Grass is water-intensive and doesn’t offer a lot in return for its thirst requirements. In its place, you can fill open spaces with pine chips or river rocks. Then, intersperse the space with ferns, evergreens, or native florals.

Utilizing a stylish hardscape design can be both a creative and low-water solution. There are many hardscape styles such as rock gardens that could work for your yard.

When you find that you no longer have to maintain regular watering of a large patch of grass, you’ll be happy to leave that tradition behind in favor of landscaping without grass.

Full Sun Plants

Some plants are able to handle the full brunt of the sun’s rays, even plants native to the Pacific Northwest.

Full-sun flowers include Blanket Flowers, Achillea, or Echinacea, for starters. Other plants do well in the full sun, such as Thimbleberry, Salmonberry, Indian Plum, and Ocean Spray. The list goes on to include a variety of plants from low maintenance ground cover flowers to plants that work well with hardscapes.

Consulting with a landscaping expert can help you discover which plants will best suit your landscaping ideas.

Efficient Watering Systems

While you can strive to make your landscape as drought-resistant as possible, you may find that you want to incorporate or you already have existing plants that might require minimal watering to remain at top health during dry seasons.

If you do have some plants that require a little more care even in a low-water landscape, this is where smart watering plays a key role.

You may consider installing an irrigation system to maximize water usage in your landscape. You can be most efficient with watering your landscape if you follow effective water saving techniques, water your plants at the optimal times during the heat of summer, and even use a timed watering system.

Crowley Landscape Design Services

Our landscape contractors understand the importance of creating a landscape that can survive dry seasons, as well as crafting the perfect layout for any property owner’s desired level of landscape maintenance.

Our skilled team can help at any stage of your landscape project – from designing the right landscape to fit your needs and helping select native plants that will work best for you to landscape installation and maintenance.

If you’re looking for help with a residential or commercial landscape, reach out and we can help you create a landscape that will last, even during the dry seasons.