Landscaping on the hot, dry, Kansas prairie

As soon as I see the first petunia plants make their appearance at our local Orscheln’s, my mind starts thinking of all the places I can put flowers around our farm. In the past, when we had free range chickens, my flowers didn’t fair quite as well; however, this year, the girls are contained, so I went big. There’s nothing as visually pleasing as a well-maintained farm with beautiful flowers and plants scattered around; in pots, in flower beds–everywhere!

I’ve spent the past six years really honing my floral maintenance skills. I’ve tried all varieties of flowers. Some thrive in our hot, arid conditions; others shrivel within days (even when I water every evening). Here’s what works best for me out here on the prairie:

Cactus {Common Prickly Pear} 

I actually “re-homed” this cactus from a walk in our pasture. My husband came across it and I decided to dig it up. Cacti do well in well-drained, grainy (rocky) soil. I actually stuck this little guy back in a flower bed that isn’t very well drained, but it seems to be doing well for now. I’ll keep ya posted! 


These rugged plants look like a very close relative to the Gerbera Daisy, but are significantly more heat and cold tolerant. In some areas, they’re perennials. I found these at Orscheln’s and went crazy after I saw how beautifully they bloomed once at home; I headed back and bought four more containers! I’m keeping these in their pots and have scattered them around in the different flower beds and the front door. They come in a wide variety of colors and bloom boldly during the day, but close up at night.

Succulents {Dudleya}

Essentially kill-proof, Succulents are perfect if you’re a forgetful person who might go a few days without watering. I found a great deal on Succulents at Orscheln’s ($1.49 per plant!) and put them in my containers to add some visual texture and height variation. Succulents do really well in Kansas, but I made sure to put mine in a spot where they aren’t in direct sun all day.

Other flowers that do well: