Monday, May 30, 2011


The three-day Memorial weekend was a waste for this gardener. It's been three days of 100+ temperatures and starting last night through today we've had strong winds whipping around, draining moisture from everything. I was able to deadhead and do some handwatering for about 2 hours early in the morning but that's about it. Even at 8 at night the high temperatures are holding so I've not been able to sit in the cottage bench with a cold iced tea and enjoy the view. Heck, even the birds seem to be hiding from the heat. I have been diligent in filling up the bird baths for the poor things.
Strolling by the beds I realized that the intense, non-stop heat has really done a number on my garden. Several of the Asiatic Lilies, most of which were planted this spring, have burns on the upper leaves. Less than half of these damaged lilies have been able to complete the flowering process. Only one flower bud survived on this stem. These two have afternoon shade and still they baked. 
In the ten years I've gardened in West Texas I've never had this difficult of a time with my plants. Several plants have already croaked, despite hand watering in the late evenings. About half the seeds I planted never took. The 15-25 cilantro and parsley seedlings were doing good then just turned brown and died this weekend. On the roses several of the leaves are turning into a crisp. The miniature rose above has the most incredible pink roses and I've been babying it in the hopes it will survive. It's twin is down to two stems and hardly any leaves. Wah! 
 A large patch of dayliles are suffering too. The buds are turning brown, drying out and falling off. The leaves are also turning yellow. Never had this happen before and I don't know if it's because of lack of water or the lack of rainwater - there's a difference because our water is hard. Rainwater is important because it doesn't have all the salt. And with barely an inch in almost 8 months the garden has been relying almost solely on our groundwater.
The buds on these Shasta Daisies are not doing so well either. They were divided last year to make two clumps. The other clump, which is literally maybe three feet from this clump is doing great. Both are getting handwater but I don't know why the first clump is not doing so well. At least it's leaves and stems are healthy. These plants are really important to the garden. They add height, coming in around three feet tall, add brightness in the evenings, and the butterflies love to land on the blossoms. So far there is definately a lack of butterflies compared to previous years. My dill plant actually matured and bloomed because there were no large groups of caterpillars munching on it. Love that the plant is doing well but I sure do miss the butterflies.
The holleyhocks are all shorter than previous years. None have gotten more than 4 feet tall. Normally the stalks and their flowers can be seen over the top of the 6 feet tall fence. A few of the stalks also split and collapsed this weekend, probably from the deadly combination of heat, wind and no rain.

On the upside, there's a 20% chance of rain tonight through tomorrow evening. That's huge around here. So, fingers crossed for a good, long shower with no hail. Life requires water... and a healthy garden requires life. Butterflies, bees and bird bring a garden to life. So, bring on the rain... PLEASE!


  1. I have started intense hand watering since my roses started losing most of their leaves. Most new plants this year are dead or dying, and all the plants I transplanted this spring are dead. Sorry your garden is suffering. I am worried about this summer. The wind is not helping!

  2. I think the wind is a big part of the problem. It's causing everything to dry out even more. I hope your garden hangs in there and that rain comes your way too!

  3. Hi Lynn,
    I've heard Texas has been dry. I'm sorry your garden is suffering. I hope things are improving, and you get some rain. Less wind would be helpful, too. It's been windy in Nebraska, too.

    How are your bachelor buttons doing? After mine bloom, they, and also the larkspur plants die. I try to deadhead to prolong their bloom time, but So, don't be alarmed if yours do that, too.

  4. Yesterday and today have been unbelievably hot and humid. Most unusual for the shore of Lake Michigan. Since it is way to hot to work in the Gardens at Waters East, it is a good time to catch up on your Blog and other Blogs I am following. I have to say that your garden really looks like a drought has hit it. So far even with the heat here, I am able to keep mine "alive". After these last days, that may change! Sorry you are having no rain. We gardeners as you can attest, are at the mercy of the weather no matter how much we may try! Jack

  5. Hi, Sue. The bachelor buttons bloomed for less than a week then fried on the stalks. Actually, there's one small plant left that hasn't dried up yet but it's getting there. The blossoms were smaller than I expected. Probably due to the heat and drying winds.



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