Lovely pink or white spikes of bloom and handsome foliage (that is unappetizing to deer) more than compensate for the initial anxiety this plant creates.
Herbaceous perennials that can exist with minimal water include artemisia, coreopsis, sedum, yarrow, yucca and the euphorbia species.
It is hard to beat achillea, commonly called yarrow, in a hot dry garden site.
The plant will grow in relatively poor soil and once established is drought tolerant. All parts of the plant are poisonous so immune to foraging deer.
Black haw is native to woods and stream banks from Connecticut to Wisconsin and south to Texas and Georgia.
It is hard to transplant plants with taproots, so look for small new plants or offsets near an established plant and dig a deep circle around them.