Thursday, September 5, 2013

Garden Update from the Land of Hot & Dry

In an endurance contest with our seemingly endless, scorching temperatures
 my husband laid these beautiful stone paths for me.
I'm so delighted  with them (!).
With no water to float the Boston Whaler, and no wind to move the Hobie,
  he worked off his frustration in the garden.
Hopefully there's a giant storm brewing somewhere, a gully washer that will fill this reservoir!

One pallet of stone didn't stretch quite far enough - we're a few yards short of connecting to the sidewalk by the dock.

It's been a long hot summer - day after day of temperatures topping 100 degrees and no rain.  But, we garden on...  The lake has dropped so low that our irrigation system starting sucking up mud instead of water, clogging every head.  The watering system starts running in the very early morning hours, when there is less evaporation loss, so we didn't catch the problem until plants started dying.

In contrast, the new beach started to support a small forest of growth.
We spent an afternoon hand cutting some very tall, very well adapted plants.
The lake may be low, but we still want to see it!

 Here's our circle green waiting to be surrounded with a collection of native plants that will attract the birds and bees.  The two tiny Golden Rain trees from the Arbor Day Foundation (on the right) are holding their own.  The Italian Cyprus trees have new growth, but we lost a number of the smaller plants including lavender, an Iceberg rose, germander, rosemary, daisies....

But there are more survivors than quitters.
We planted six of these new Black Diamond Crepe Myrtles in the front, and they are tough stuff!

In spite of the heat they have doubled in size and continue to flower.

I love the purplish-black leaves, and the fact that the blossoms don't bleach out.

I cut back the guara (Gaura lindheimeri) two weeks ago, and it has responded with a new and vigorous flush of flowers. Guara is a perennial Texas native plant and a great favorite of butterflies.
The 'Gideon Lincecum' prairie roses have doubled in size, display healthy true green leaves, and continue to bloom.
The Knockout Roses (I have about a dozen of this classic double cherry red variety) are struggling - prone to black spot, and have disappointingly washed-out leaf and flower color. 

I wish the flowers were able to hold the deep cherry color they displayed in the spring!

That's the garden update as we anxiously await FALL!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the garden update, Suzanne! Sorry for your drought....especially tough for new plantings. This has been a cooler and wetter summer for us in DC. Also, we had a very wet spring. Speaking of roses, my white-out roses did terrible this year. Very little blooms and the foliage looked awful. The lake still looks beautiful. Hope you get some rain in September.