People seems to snicker at the idea of drought in the Northwest. Evidently, it's a well-kept secret (let's keep it that way!) that we regularly go three months without a drop of rain. Yet it doesn't take a drought to know that water is precious and expensive, and the increasing trend, even in the Northwest, is away from unquenchably thirsty gardens.
When you plant during the summer, after you've dug your hole, fill it up with water. You may already do this with trees; now extend the practice to all your hot-weather plantings. This will help alleviate transplant shock and encourage deep rooting.
Talking Plants for the Northwest Here are five of the DoD's favorite drought-tolerant specimens that, once established, will scoff at supplemental summer water.
Sunrose (Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant')
Euphorbia (Euphorbia 'Portguese Velvet')
Boxleaf Hebe (Hebe buxifolia)
Green Bottlebrush (Callistemon viridiflorus)
Lion's Tail (Leonotis leonurus)