Monday, September 5, 2011

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!


15 comments:

Carol said...

Beautiful long shots....I think I"m guilty of forgetting the whole picture too when it comes to sharing my garden...guess I'll have to make and effort to work on that.

Diana said...

Carol - I always go for those close-ups, too. I'm going to try to do a little of both from now on!

Rohrerbot said...

Hang in there. Fall is just around the corner. Your garden looks great and I do understand the heartbreak and struggles of a drought....but you need to keep everything in perspective. It will pass. Whatever you're doing, it looks great. Maybe the plants aren't at 100 percent of their growing ability....but they're alive. Plus you've got water restrictions!! A lot of those plants you have in your garden are very xeric and drought friendly. We grow a lot of them in Tucson, but surpringly our winter freezes will kill them backt to the ground. Hoping you get some rain soon.

Lancashire rose said...

Long shots are my favorite and they show your garden off to its best- despite the drought.

katina said...

I think we're getting this crazy weather from Lee, not Katia.

And I wish my yard looked good enough to get the long shots...but alas, no...except for the shade area.

Anonymous said...

It's still beautiful, Diana. The bones are there and most will come back. Hang in there. I hope you are safe w/the fires.

Robin Ripley

Diana said...

Rohrerbot - Felt a little bit like Fall here this morning. A cool breeze made it much more pleasant outside. I can't wait to garden in cooler weather. You're right - I know how much better the plants CAN look and I see no blooms where there normally would be tons! Thanks for the rain wishes.

Lancashire Rose - I'm going to include them much more now. Maybe along with a close up to provide perspective and detail.

Katina - yes, you're right, it's coming from Lee. I'd just already moved on to the next disaster! I'm scared to see what it's going look like with Stage 2 - my lantana are already drooping today. And I missed my Sunday watering - accidentally had the sprinkler turned to off. Aack.

Robin - Thanks. We're ok with fires, they are pretty far away 45-60 minutes. But we sure are watching. How are you recovering from your disaster? Every one and critters ok?

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Abbey said...

Wow, your new front beds look good. I'm surprised at how quickly the plants filled in. Keep up the good work.

Diana said...

Abbey - Thanks. It did fill in for the most part, but I lost about 5 things either from last winter or the transplants. Now losing Zinnias and Verbena in it because of the heat. Hope this cooler weather helps. About to go out with the hose and hand water since we're under stage 2 water restrictions.

Linda/patchwork said...

Your new front beds look great.
I do like the long shots. They are pretty sad around here, though.
Good luck with the new water restrictions. We've been on a modified stage 3 for weeks now. No grass watering..no sprinkler watering. And, hand watering only on our two days a week. At least we can use soaker hoses everyday. Otherwise, it would be a complete desert here.
Stay safe....

LindaCTG said...

Wow, Diana! It looks just wonderful!!

Pam/Digging said...

I'm really loving that "hideous" bed (inside joke) out front. Your long shots show off your garden to advantage, which really means your garden has good bones and big-enough beds. Well done!

Anonymous said...

I really, really like the long shots and wish more people would show the entire picture as you've done here. Everything you've photographed looks wonderful! Laura

Diana said...

Linda -- Stage 3 would be so hard. I'm just hoping for rain before we get to that point.

Linda - Thanks -- it's the close ups that are scary!

Pam -- Thanks. Long shots are on my list for the year - going to try to get more of them cuz I miss em on other blogs myself!

Laura - Well, the long shots sure worked here to hide a bunch of crispy stuff!