Design the position and the shape of your garden beds so that they can be planted up with groups of plants with similar needs for water. This is where mass planting comes in and can make the task much easier. By planting a mass or a group of exactly the same plant you can make a bold impact with your design because you have one colour, shape and texture.
A huge carpet of one type of groundcover can be stunning. A single plant of Myoporum parvifolium will make a huge mat of ground-hugging, refreshing green several metres across, which could give you the perfect alternative to lawn.
In many plant families there are plants with exactly the same growing characteristics but just variations on the foliage colour- grey, green, gold or variegated, or variations in the flower colour. The herb majoram is an example, where green, gold or variegated forms are available, so too is the shrub Euonymus.
These are just two of hundreds of water thrifty, attractive plants you can use in your garden. The deciduous hibiscus is an example of a group of plants where the habit and leaves are the same but the flowers can vary from white to mauve, pink and crimson.
In a small cottage garden or a garden made up of a collection of pot plants, collect up plants that have similar needs for water in to the one position.
It is easiest to group the plants into three main categories: