In a recent article by gardener and city-dweller Justine Hand, she narrates her memories of summertime in the city, and how the rough urban conditions (think pollution and extreme heat), would take a serious toll on her outdoor plants. She writes, “Poor plants. It took no time at all for those urban plants to become scorched by hot sun pouring down on asphalt roofs. Other hapless city plantings quickly succumbed to airborne pollutants and salt…”
After too many summers like this, Hand and her other gardening friends got smart and began growing plants that were more drought and pollution tolerant, cultivating a beautiful and resistant urban garden. She explains that “many evergreens do well in urban environs,” and especially applauds the particularly hardy nature of Thujas, which include Western Redcedar or Northern Whitecedar. These plants provide natural privacy hedges from your neighbors, and can grow as high as thirty feet, even in urban conditions.
Hand also discusses “Rock Rose,” a bushy, evergreen shrub that produces fragrant summer flowers that bloom in vibrant pink, purple, and yellow, and is sturdy enough to survive in an urban garden. She explains that this plant is “sun-loving” and “drought-tolerant,” which makes it a great choice for your garden.
Another lovely plant that will thrive in your urban garden is a Snowberry Bush. This plant appears delicate, but is actually rather adaptable to an array of different conditions such as salt spray. The Snowberry Bush has pretty pink flowers that bloom in the spring, and fleshy white berries that last through the summer and fall, as well as sturdy green leaves. This plant has beautiful, enchanting qualities, and would look fantastic in any garden.
Hand also encourages planting Libertia, Serviceberry, and Lavender Cotton, among others in your urban garden. For her full list of plant recommendations, take a look here.