For success in gardening, it is important to know your type of soil and the amount of sunlight your landscape receives. All plants have moisture and light requirements which they need in order to thrive. There are a number of dry perennials, ground covers, vines, and shrubs that do very well in full sun.
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Harebell, or campanula rotundifolia, is a perennial that blooms from June until the first frost with deep blue, bell-shaped flowers. Growing 1 to 2 feet in height, harebell prefers dry soil and full sun, but will tolerate partial sun in zones 3 to 8.
The black-eyed susan perennial, scientifically known as rudbeckia hirta, boasts a yellow or orange-yellow petal flower with a dark brown centre. Blooming from July to September, this plant reaches 2 to 3 feet in height. It is both heat and drought tolerant and grows in best in zones 3 to 9.
Woodbine or Virginia Creeper
Woodbine or Virginia creeper, also known as parthenocissus quinquefolia, is a high-climbing vine that produces small white flowers. Blooming in spring, the Virginia creeper can reach heights of 40 feet. Growing well in dry soil and full sun, it is tolerant of other soil and light conditions as well. When nothing is available to climb, this vine provides nice ground cover. In fall, its leaves turn red and small purple berries appear. It grows in zones 3 to 9.
The lingonberry ground cover, or vaccinium vitis-idaea, produces small, shiny green leaves with pink or white blooms. It blooms twice, from March to April and from July to August and the flowers are followed by an edible and nutritious but tart, bright red berry. Growing 2 to 16 inches tall, lingonberries grow well in dry to wet conditions and in full sun, but not in hot climates. It grows in zones 2 to 6.
The northern bayberry, or myrica pennsylvanica, is a dry shrub plant with semi-evergreen foliage. Typically growing 5 to 6 feet tall, it prefers dry, full-sun conditions in zones 2 to 6.
The small shrub Sweetfern, or comptonia peregrina, produces fernlike, spicy-smelling foliage. In spring, brown catkins form and in fall, a burr-like nut. It grows 2 to 4 feet high. Preferring full sun and dry to moist conditions, it does best in zones 2 to 6.
Bush honeysuckle, scientifically named diervilla lonicera, a shrub with red berries, grows 2 to 5 feet in height. This dry plant thrives in both sun and shade and in sandy soil. It grows in zones 3 to 7.
Dwarf Fragrant Sumac
A low-growing shrub, the dwarf fragrant sumac, or rhus aromatica, produces small yellow flowers in spring and red berries in summer. Growing 2 to 3 feet in height, this shrub can also be used as a ground cover. Its foliage turns orange to red in fall. It prefers dry, sandy to rocky soil and full sun in zones 3 to 9.
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