The photo above is of my first home garden in Ontario. The globe thistle and Hollyhocks flowered easily without much help from me. Globe thistle or Echinops, should not to be confused with another perennial look alike called Sea holly or Eryngium. Both are purple, drought tolerant perennials that come alive in summer heat in full sun. Globe thistle grows larger with ping-pong ball-sized, spiky flower heads that will re-seed freely. There is also a less known white coloured variety.
I remember learning about xeriscape gardening (gardens that use little to no water) 20 years ago when I was studying for my Gardening and Landscaping Certificate. I wasn't fond of cactuses so I didn't pay much attention to xeriscapes then, preferring the look of more traditional flower gardens. I am glad to say that I brought a few of these tough perennial plants with me when I moved from my house in Ontario. Today, these low-maintenance perennials are of the mainstays of my summer border filling empty earth patches with their architectural qualities even into winter while feeding bees and other beneficial pollinators while in bloom with their lavender-purple, nectar-rich flower balls. Just make sure to wear gloves while handling them.
( For more on plants that take the heat read one of my my articles in the Suburban.)