Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Same Conditions

Hot.  Dry.  Watering Restrictions.  Burn Bans.  Well Levels.  Wind.  Sun.

It seems everyone uses the above words or phrases every day around here.

Not being said:  Rain, humid, cool front, umbrella, wet.

Our city's year round water conservation has protected us from emergency watering restrictions so far.  Neighboring towns are really taking some drastic measures to keep their water supplies available for necessity.
My water bill is higher.  I'm watering everyday.  Soaking an area each day so it can withstand the conditions until it gets a turn again.  Never watered:  the lawn, the alley, most of the wild area and the area featured below.

While I have many drought tolerant plants in the garden, it is not a complete xerioscape landscape.  Here's an example:

Same sun, soil and water.

Drought tolerant plant on the left.
Thirsty plant on the right.
What a contrast.

Lily of the Valley looked great this spring and smelled wonderful by the front porch.  It needs water, shade and cooler weather for the foliage to stay nice all year.  It gets afternoon shade.  If we would get rain, the roof of the porch runs off in this area.  Next spring, it will likely perform well again with some moisture, but right now it is crispy.

Russian Sage dies to the ground each winter here and regrows and blooms in the summer.  I give it no extra water.  It likes full sun but does well with morning sun here.  It is looking good and will be there when the pollinators start returning.

I need more plants like the Russian Sage.


  1. It's awful on our part of the prairie as well. No water bans as yet for which I'm thankful. But our county has been declared a disaster area because of little to no rain for what seems like "forever"!

    I never water the grass as well and I have changed my garden over to more "natives" (i.e. iris, purple coneflower) but there are still the pots to water and they are thirsty plants in those pots! And pots dry out faster than plants in the ground!

    Even my basil is looking stressed! And basil is a heat tolerant plant -- but guess it is also a want water plant!

    But the rosemary and lavender are thriving, looking to me as if saying "bring it on"!

    Our temps soar again to the triple digits and rain chances are 0 to 10%


  2. I know how you are feeling. This extreme heat and drought has really taken it's toll in the last couple weeks. I am really rethinking everything. Hope things start getting better for both of us but not holding my breath for it. Good luck.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Same here, southwest of Wichita. Our buffalo grass is doing fantastically, so I'm very glad that we spent the time and sweat to put it in last summer, but almost everything else looks horrible. I am having fun seeing hummers at the feeders!

  4. I'm really re-thinking the gardens too. My Russian Sage is gorgeous. One of only 3 plants the deer have not demolished. Never been watered. Seems to LOVE the heat and drought. Now, where's my list............

  5. Opposite over here. We're drowning! Floods, rain, hail, more rain, more floods, plants rotting in the wet, no sun, even more rain.

    No wonder I drink!

  6. We finally got rain for about six days and it's now hot and humid. I doubt that we got enough rain to solve the drought problem, but it at least helped temporarily. I hope you get some rain.

  7. Sorry.... We finally got lots of rain (all at once) here last week. That helped some--but it's gotten hot and humid again now... No fun... So sorry for what you are going through. We have had to water things also...

  8. Such a shame to see the Lily-of-the-Valley looking so brown, I bet that sort of coverage looks amazing in the spring. Only a suggestion, but a Callistemon would look good with the Russian Sage, and should tolerate the dry weather, although you guys seem to be having a particularly dry one this year.

  9. Wow~~that's some heat damage. We are from one extreme to the other around here. Storms or hot every other day or so....praying your area gets some much needed moisture!

  10. Agreed! Drought tolerant plants are the way to cool. That Russian sage is so pretty and the birds like it too so a good bonus!

  11. really do see the difference...gotta love Russian Sage for that reason...the fact that it's so beautiful is a huge bonus :-)

  12. This is the first year ever that I have not watered my lawn at all!! The good grass didn't survive last summer. The bermuda grass I hate anyway. There are huge cracks in the lawn. The new trees are getting drinks, as are the flower beds. They are surviving, but they DON'T like this heat, and show it!! Glad to know about the lily of the valley. .mine just up and disappeared! I thought maybe it was supposed to do that!! Praying for rain!

  13. What a difference between the water needing plant and the drought tolerant one. I envy your Russian sage, it has gotten lost in my messy plantings a few times.
    I do hope you get rains soon but it sounds like your community and you are prepared for this.


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