Gorgeous golden tips
Blanket flower (Gaillardia) features gorgeous golden tips and requires moderate water.
Evergreen from southwestern Australia
Velvety kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos 'Orange Cross' and Bush Gems series) add spicy color against golden grasses in a garden in Tiburon, California, designed by Arterra Landscape Architects (arterrallp.com). The plants tolerate drought but flower best with some water in summer and excellent drainage in light sandy soil.
Beware extreme heat and humidity
African daisy (Arctotis), with blooms that can range from brilliant orange to cool purply-white, needs moderate water.
Red stamens that resemble powder puffs
The shrub attracts hummingbirds with its brilliant red stamens that resemble powder puffs. Use it as an accent in front of a living ocotillo fence or as a backdrop for small blue agaves. Needs minimal water.
Bees love it
Pride of Madeira
Actually from Madeira, this plant produces wonderful spikes of blue-purple flowers along the coast in poor soil and with practically no extra water. Bees love it.
Has small sweet pea-shaped flowers
Clusters of rose-purple flowers cover this shrub in fall. Needs minimal to moderate watering.
Long, slender, curved flowers
Large, colorful flowers fleck this unthirsty shrub all summer long.
Hard to beat the showy flowers
This is the signature plant for many hot-summer regions. It's hard to beat the showy summer flowers, beautiful bark, and brilliant fall color.
Fiery crimson in winter
Leaves emerge pinkish and bronzy red, then turn to soft light green; they take on purple and bronze tints in fall and often turn fiery crimson in winter, especially in a sunny location and with some frost.
This heat-tolerant shrub sports trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of orange-yellow-red hues and leaves that divide featherwise into many leaflets.
Easy to grow
Fluffy blooms in a wide variety of brilliant colors atop tall stems are the signature of this easy-to-grow flower.
Stems resemble torches
Red Hot Poker
Flowering stems resemble glowing torches--or pokers (hence the name).
A favorite for cooking
Leaves of this shrubby perennial are flavorful and aromatic, which makes them a favorite for cooking.
Perfect candidates for bold gardens
These succulents' sculptural shapes make them perfect candidates for bold, contemporary gardens.
Small white or pink flowers
It can vary from creeping groundcover to a treelike shrub, but all types have small white or pink flowers, usually in late winter to early spring, followed by berrylike red or brown fruits that attract birds.
If you like these ideas, read our Water-Wise Garden Design Guide for more hints on designing a garden that's easy on the earth's resources, or read about 5 easy water-saving tips. Also, check out our guide to what you should be planting now to ensure a vibrant garden come springtime. Before you plant, make sure that your chosen blooms will grow well in your zone with our Plant Finder. Not sure what climate zone you're in? Look it up here.