Sunday, August 30, 2015

A tough time of year

This is a post for Mom, who thinks her verdant oasis looks bad in the summer heat...

The hot sun was contained behind clouds this morning, and in the cool shade, one begins to hope that cooler temperatures and hopefully rain is just around the corner.  Then the clouds clear, and the reality hits like a hairblower!

We have had only an eighth of an inch of rain here since the beginning of July. I spend hours everyday hand watering; the sprinkler runs from 5:30am to 10am every Saturday, our only allowed automatic watering day... And it just isn't enough.

I whisper to my dying, drought-stricken plants, 'Hold on just a little longer... Fall is coming.  It is right around the corner.'  But even I am starting to disbelieve my words of encouragement.

The garden looks like a battle zone.

Potted plants need to be watered twice a day or they look like this.

Even the peach trees hang their head in shame.

It is the time of year when even the most avid gardener, exhausted from the tedium of standing for long hours, hose in hand, thinks:  maybe I should just pave the backyard and be done with it.

But there are a few plants that seem to do well in the blistering, dry heat.

The Esperanza always seems to do well in the summer.  My big one is just starting to put out blooms, but the other, smaller, varieties have been blooming on and off all summer.  Their huge green leaves and brilliant yellow flowers are an eye-relief from the brown dead seen everywhere else.

The morning glory shines her beauty before the blazing death star appears overhead.  Although I have tried transplanting this vine to other places in the yard, this is the only place it has thrived.

The fire bush is appropriately named.  Not only are its flowers bright red, but it does its best in the hot days of summer.  This plant can get wilted by the end of the day, but a little water quickly revives it.  I really need a few more of these guys in some of my other beds.

My beloved Plumbago is doing well - largely because I water it quite often and long.  This is the best this plant has ever looked in August.  It really seems to like its new spot.

My dwarf Pomegrante is doing very well, putting out blooms and small inedible (I think) fruit.  This plant is doing well largely because it is sitting right over a watering spigot, and not because it is particularly drought-hardy.  I actually need to move the watering head out, so it can give more water to the plants and grass around it... and this guy might not do as well.

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