Plants of the Month: Swaying in the Breeze
Movement or plants that give the illusion of movement is a classic landscape design concept. Plants can be arranged to give the impression of movement along a curved path or plants that sway in the breeze also will catch your eye. Here are some suggestions for plants that will sway in the breeze:
Bulbine is a wonderful plant for our zone, because not only is it very heat and drought tolerant, it blooms repeatedly with little effort. The plants form clumps that grow about 3 feet wide with the orange/yellow flowers suspended above the foliage about 2 feet. These flowers will move with light breezes. Bulbine is Zone 9-11 and takes full sun. The deer do not normally eat it and it is salt tolerant.
Gaura is a beautiful plant that has either green foliage with White/Pink Butterfly shaped flowers rising above it or pink foliage with pink flowers. Gaura is clump forming to about 2-3 feet and the flowers form on stems that delicately blow in the breeze. Gaura is Zone 5-10 and tolerates full sun. The deer usually do not eat it and it is moderately salt tolerant.
Society Garlic also is a clump forming perennial with lavender color flowers on stems rising above the plant. It is extremely heat tolerant, cold tolerant, drought tolerant and due to the “garlicky” scent, is an excellent choice for those people with deer. The flowers sway in the breeze. Society Garlic is Zone 7-10, deer do not eat and has good salt tolerance.
Agapantha is an outstanding plant in the landscape! Long, dark-green, strappy leaves and tall blue clusters of flowers tower above the plant on long stems. Agapanthus grows best in shade or dappled light, but will tolerate full sun. Whether used as a border, foundation planting, massed beds or specimen, you’ll love the large, showy blooms that also make great cut flowers! The blooms suspend above the foliage by 2-3 feet and sway in the breeze. Agapantha is zone 9-10 and deer have been known to eat them occasionally. Moderate salt tolerant.
African Iris is a dark green, strap like foliage plant that creates a large cluster when mature. Beautiful “orchid shaped” white and purple flowers appear above the plant in the spring through fall. The plant is very cold hardy and salt tolerant and the deer do not usually eat it. The flowers create movement when it is breezy. Zone 8-11
Muhly Grass, a native grass, has thin foliage that produces beautiful purple/pink plumes in the fall. It is salt tolerant, and the deer rarely touch it. It will grow 3-4 feet high and wide. Beautiful when clustered in groups.