Landscape drought damage requires long lens on camera...

With the worst drought in Texas history and 80 days with temperatures over 100, plants and people and pets are struggling this summer.

It's 10 degrees cooler here today -- 92 instead of 102 -- and we have gusting wind cooling things down as well. Sadly, there are a half dozen wildfires in the Central Teas area around us. We're safe for now, but 500+ people have lost their homes -- burned down to the ground, 2 people have died, and today's winds are spreading the fires ever further. 25,000 acres have burned. This is the back side of Katia. Instead of the rain we so desperately need that is flooding thousands of other people, we got wildfires. We're praying for everyone in the path of these terrible fires.

While we are safe from the fires, we are at the mercy of the drought. But with a LOT of hand watering to supplement because we are under water restrictions, the garden looks o.k. overall. The secret? The long shot!

My mother-in-law was visiting two weeks ago and wanted some photos of our house and the gardens. I took lots of long shots, and realized as I looked at them that I rarely post photos like that. And it's one of my great disappointments when reading other garden blogs -- I really want to check out the big picture.

So here are photos of everything in the garden -- showing of the bright and colorful and much too far away to see the dead and dying plants.

Come take a stroll around the garden with me...

These plants in the front bed are highly xeric and doing pretty well considering they were planted this spring and have endured this drought while trying to get established. There are dying narrow leafed Zinnias and Euryops and adwarf yaupon holly, but you can't see them from here.

Yellow Esperanza (Yellow Bells) on the right are native to Mexico and very hardy. They are used to the heat.

The veggie garden needs protection from bunnies and our dogs, hence the fence INSIDE the other fence that keeps the deer out!

This is along the path in our woods that leads to the fenced back yard. This is where we feed birds and water the deer, squirrels, foxes, bunnies and mice! With this drought, we have 3 birdbaths and countless little bowls scattered around to provide constant drinking water for anything that needs it. With less blooms, hummingbirds really need our feeders this year, too.

The play scape, the cutting garden, the greenhouse and the xeric rock path.

The back corner of the yard got a few new plants this summer along with an old, worn out bistro table and chairs and a stunning Filamentosa yucca for a focal point. Even rusty metal furniture looks good from far enough away!

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