Tuesday, August 02, 2011

This blasted weather.

In this part of Texas we are in a drought which is reported to be worse than that during the Great Depression.


We are forecast to have temperatures ranging between 110 and 112 degrees F through Saturday. Stepping out of the front door feels like stepping into a hairdryer with a hot, drying wind. It's been really hard to keep plants alive, and mostly, I haven't. Even the heat-hardy salvia I planted last year is looking like it's about to give up the ghost. It should have a fairly deep root system, and I don't water daily, but I really drench it when I do water, so it should be looking better than it is. I suppose even a native perennial can't hope to thrive under the steady onslaught of hot, battering winds. And it's no small irony that this weather had people all over Texas praying that a hurricane would sling some moisture their way. Sad when people will see the disaster aspect of a hurricane as secondary to the benefits, yes?

My oak leaf hydrangea-- my prize!-- is alive, but only barely, which is more than I can say for the other hydrangea which just turned to a little crisp. Astonishingly, the Passion Vine seems to be thriving, and it's really quite lovely. I hope it comes back after the winter. I'll put down a heavy mat of mulch and hope for the best.

It's been very discouraging. I had such high hopes and the garden started off so well, but again, the hair dryer effect is simply garden death. I suppose I shouldn't have wasted the water. :( This has me re-thinking my garden entirely. I have to face the fact that now I technically live in a completely different zone.

So yesterday was August 1, and I've been thinking with much consternation about how much more of this bloody hideous summer for which to brace. The first 110 degree day was in early May, so... There's been one fairly decent rainstorm in the past 6 months. Just the one. Meanwhile, we've heard of torrential downpours elsewhere that have giant rivers bursting levees and banks, and it's seemed bitterly ironic. Feast or famine.

So, I can bear however much longer of this goes on, but one hopes to have an idea of the light at the end of the tunnel on which to hang one's hat. I know that usually there is a hint of crispness and the wind-shift that is the harbinger of Fall generally by late September, Then again, too, I remember bloody hot October marching in the band in a wool uniform, and I'm struck by the horrid thought that we could be in for 3 more months of this unrelenting heat here. Not knowing of any such thing as a reliable horoscope for the weather, I looked up the Farmer's Almanac. Its forecast for the coming two months:

September and October will be much cooler and drier than normal.

Well, cooler? I'll believe that when I see that. Drier? We're already there, pal.


Julie said...

Sorry to hear about the drought. We're finally getting rains after a long hot summer (thankfully!). Most things survived in my garden because I've planted Aussie Natives which (once established) thrive on hot dry weather. Not sure if you can source any in your part of the world (and there's probably restrictions on sending seeds) but if you can, look out for them because there's some really, really beautiful and hardy ones.

DanielS said...

It's been much the same at our place in Fort Worth. Only Desi's relentless hand watering has kept our patch of green, well, green.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying highs in the upper 70s and a fair amount of rain up north.

Farmmom said...

It's been hot and dry here as well. My auto watering has been what has saved my garden and I do have some things thriving. Cucumbers. So there will be plenty of pickles again this year.

Old NFO said...

New garden = Cactus, just sayin...

Firehand said...

Same up in OK; we've had some spots of rain, but not enough to really help. This all started up here last month with days of hot, drying wind, and then the rain completely turned off(except for those bits). I've managed to keep my tomatoes and peppers alive, but that's it; not producing anything.

Hell, it's even killed my blackberries, and that takes some doing.

Anonymous said...

Out here (central High Plains) we're looking at conditions worse than the 1950s and they were worse than the 1930s. That's scary dry.

Jennifer said...

FYI-this year's Farmers Almanac is full of lies. For TX and OK, It said this summer would be cooler and rainier. LIES!!!