POSTED ON JUNE 15, 2011:
Seeds of Wisdom
Save time and energy with these climate-friendly plants
These plants are as pretty as they are easy to maintain. Oklahoma natives are suited to our climate, require less care and water, and have some resistance to local pests.
Other varieties in this lineup are well-suited to Tulsa's cold hardy climate, or USDA Zone 6. Recommendations are offered up by local gardeners Laurie Keeley and Jenny Thompson.
Native to Texas, this ornamental bush can grow to 8 feet tall and offers "vividly fuchsia blooms," Keeley said. Its purple fruit are food for songbirds, while the application of its crushed leaves to skin may repel mosquitoes, according to a 2006 study by the University of Mississippi.
This short-lived perennial is a rapidly-growing, drought-resistant ground cover. Thompson grows clover in her backyard, and recommends replacing water-hungry Bermuda grass with this soft, white-flowered, alternative turf.
•Echinacea or coneflower
Sunny purple flowers and medicinal properties are part of the appeal of this tall plant, Thompson said.
Oklahoma's state wildflower is a short-lived perennial that can grow to 2 feet tall with little maintenance. Thompson plants these vibrant orange blooms in her front yard for easy curb appeal.
One of the easiest veggies to grow in Oklahoma dirt, Thompson recommends kale and lettuce because they are attractive and delicious.
Its fuzzy-soft leaves make you "just want to rub them on your cheek," Keeley said. They can thrive without extra labor and is a lush green all year long.
This plant works well in zones 4-6 and blooms in the evening and nighttime in white, luscious trumpets. It also re-seeds itself and never needs watering. Keeley suggests lighting your moonflower plant to catch glimpses of wildlife that's attracted to your garden by the flowers and strong perfume.
•Sedum or stonecrop
This hardy, perennial ground cover grows well in hot, dry spots and comes in lots of colors. Keeley recommends the chartreuse, blue sage or neon varieties, which add easy fun in funky hanging baskets.
A hot trend right now, succulents need little water, lots of sun and are available in many shapes and sizes. Keeley grows the spiky-leaved Yucca.
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