Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You Can Take my Drought and ...


Cindy, of From My Corner of Katy, handed out these cute little tags at Buffa10; each one had a little saying and I grabbed the one that most applied to my situation. Little did I know at the time that the rain situation would get worse in my area (although thankfully, last weekend we had a good rain). Here's what the situation looks like by the folks who monitor droughts in the U.S.:


I live in the middle of that red - and it's labeled "extreme" drought. The only other state in the U.S. that is experiencing that level of drought right now is Hawaii. So maybe indeed, that has something to do with the next photo. Warning, it's not a pretty picture.

Dead Madame Alfred Carriere climbing rose

This has really been a complete surprise to me. All during our dry spring and summer I've made sure this bed gets a good soaking, at least once a week. As you can see, other plants in the bed have survived, including my clematis, which is climbing up the trunk of the rose. I'm so sad about it. It was such a steady bloomer, being the first to bloom in the spring and continuing to bloom intermittently through summer and fall. This type of rose was the first one that Vita Sackville-West planted in her famous garden in Sissinghurst. The plant you see here is smaller than it normally was because I cut back so many dying branches just before I left for my Buffalo trip. Now I've got another big clean-up task but I'm hoping when I dig it up, it will reveal any secrets of its death. Do you know how embarrassing it is for a garden coach to have a big ol' dead thing in her front yard? ;-)

'Appalachian Spring' dogwood

This dogwood was planted just this spring. It's a baby and looks a little stressed out, most likely due to high temperatures and lack of rain. I've been hand watering it but it's probably not enough. I will be getting out my books to determine if these blotches are signs of drought stress (or, god forbid, something worse). But enough of my sad tales, there's one bright thing in my garden this July.

The Susans are here!

My black-eyed Susans ('Goldsturm' variety) have made their faithful July appearance, along with some purple coneflowers. The coneflowers are in front of two blobs of green, for now. Those two blobs are pineapple sage, Salvia elegans. Too bad they're not blooming at the same time as the Susans! But they'll be in bloom this fall, so I have something to look forward to. And don't ask me why the grass looks so green when we're in such a drought. I'm sure it's because that part is on a sprinkler system and the grass blades are very long!

'Red Cascade' mini climbing rose, pink muhly grass, Agave filifera,Wavy Leaf cactus, Susans and assorted other blooms

At least I made the right choices when it comes to this area. I'll attribute that to my central Texas roots, where you can't be too frivolous with water. This area only has access to a soaker hose and seems to be doing fine. Whew!

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2010. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

31 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your terrible drought. I think that is one of the greatest fears any gardener has... drought. But, there are some bright spots as you've noted. Some flowers, like Black-eyed Susans will always bloom, it seems, regardless of the conditions.

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  2. I love that little tag. Cute. We have a severe need for rain too. We posted about our dying plants today. http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/2010/07/welcome-to-dead-zone.html

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  3. Last month I was moaning about the drought too, the rains have finally come. It has rained every day for the past 4 days. It is now too wet to garden. I wish I could send you some and I do hope that it comes soon.

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  4. Sorry to see that your rose finally gave in, alas, I think that the damage may have already been a while ago.
    The garden is looking lovely and lush, and Rudbeckia Goldsturm is one of my favourite herbaceous plants.

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  5. I am so sorry about the Madame. If you cut her down might she regrow? Then it won't be a big brown glob at the front of your house. Maybe morning glories to fill in while you wait for her. We know about being rated extreme drought, it is hard on a gardener and everyone else. We got that same sign at Buffa10 and will add our prayers for you.
    Frances

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  6. Your rose made me so sad. Will it come back? I don't know if our weather counts as a drought, but July has been extraordinarily dry and hot. When we get any rain the storms have been violent and short with little rain. At least we didn't get hail yesterday.

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  7. Sorry about your rose. I live in south Louisiana and we haven't gotten much rain. Just a bunch of isolated storms blowing in from the gulf, but they never reach my house. I've got pineapple sage in my garden and can't wait for it to bloom!

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  8. Geez, drought is the worst (maybe combined with abnormal heat??) Bleech. We had that nasty red on the drought monitor map on our part of the Upstate for ages during our long extreme drought (through 2009).

    It does seem like your rose must have succumbed to something else, however, since you'd been taking such good care of it.

    We're slipping back into drought here again, and things are starting to look crispy, especially in the Piedmont.

    Let's hope for a wetter August!

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  9. I'm so sorry about the Madame, although I think there may have been something else wrong with her since you worked so hard to keep the bed going. I've lost two roses this year, and I think some of my roses have a disease. We could talk more about it later. So very sorry, but what will you plant in her place?

    Here's hoping for more rain.~~Dee

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  10. I'm sorry to hear about your drought. I know what that is like and it is no fun. Even sorrier to hear about the Madame. I wonder what happened?

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  11. Drought sucks. Austin feels your pain though we're (at the moment) out of our horrible extreme drought. It's hard to find gardening motivation when the weather seems to conspire against you.

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  12. I feel for you. Drought stinks. We're not in drought, but there's been no measurable rain in over 2 weeks, so things in my garden are starting to look like plants in yours. I'll do a rain dance for your garden as well as mine.

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  13. I'm so sorry about your rose, Jean; embarrassing or not, it has to be so disappointing to lose something like this that has been such a faithful bloomer.

    We have had the opposite problem this year, although the first two weeks in July got awfully dry. Too much rain has caused fungal diseases and a host of other problems I'm just learning about. I wish I could send some of our rain your way.

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  14. Nice to see Susans in bed with the cactus. I guess it's true that opposites attract.

    Here in NE Wisconsin we are definitely not experiencing a drought. After yesterday's rain, we broke a 96 year record for the most rain in July.

    Hang in there. It will rain eventually. The garden coach can't control the weather.

    donna

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  15. Mother Nature has her cruel little twists which cannot be anticipated. Perhaps a hard prune will reveal new sprouts when the rain finally arrives.

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  16. So sorry about the rose - why don't you keep watering it, cut it down and see what happens? I've had success in regrowing apparently dead roses that way, it may be worth a try.

    Our drought's over for now - it rained for two weeks once the water restrictions came in! Hope you get some rain soon.

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  17. Wow, that is tough!! We've gotten a TON of rain in the last few days--my elephant ears have almost doubled in size and they're one of the few things I normally DO water. Hope you get some relief soon!!

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  18. I hope you get some relief soon. The last number of years, we were in a mild drought. This season, we are about 6 inches above normal rainfall, and things are a mess. I've lost a few plants to not good enough drainage, I guess. Some of my butterfly milkweeds are fine, but one is almost dead.

    I see others have also wondered if your rose would come back if you cut it back.

    The bed with the Susans looks great. I don't remember if I've grown pineapple sage in the ground. I want to try next year, because they always struggle in the heat in pots, and don't like to be the least bit dry. Do yours wilt when they're dry?

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  19. Jean, I hope the tag brings you rain!

    Madame Alfred has been a little temperamental here, too. Maybe it's just her and not us?

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  20. Well, I love your susans but I'm saddened to hear about the drought and the poor, dead rose. There are certain things in my garden that are extra special because they take so long to mature. I'd be heartbroken at losing this rose. Fingers crossed for a good drenching soon.

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  21. Very sorry to hear of the death of your climbing rose. We had extreme drought last year here in central Texas -- close enough in time that I can still feel the pain acutely.

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  22. P.S. Speaking of droughts and hope, I just saw the loveliest post by Kathleen Scott on her blog Hill Country Mysteries.

    http://hillcountrymysteries.blogspot.com/2010/07/yesterday-is-not-today.html

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  23. So sorry about the Madame--she was so beautiful! I'm back in upstate NY now, and there is no drought here...although it has been really hot! Not as hot as there, but HOT for here! Without central a/c, it can be tough to take. It's good to "see" you again, Jean!

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  24. I'm sorry about the drought! We've had some bad dry spells too, followed by severe downpours (not the good, constant soaking rains we need). I hope things improve!

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  25. So sorry jean that you've been missing that rain that's pummeling the midwest! We haven't had much rain since the floods in May either! Dry and hot and not getting a break. I also took that pray for rain sign!

    It's hard to keep the Susans and coneflowers down. They look wonderful~so sorry you lost a beauty of a rose~

    gail

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  26. What a strange summer it's been--you're getting drought and we're getting soaked. Should be the other way around...

    Sorry about Madame. But the Susans look fab.

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  27. Thanks for all the kind words re:my rose and the drought. I've cut the rose down to its huge canes now and will dig around the dirt this weekend, trying to figure out what killed it. And... ta, da - it rained yesterday and today!!

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  28. Sad to see your rose in such a bad state - I do hope it comes back. And glad to hear that you finally got some rain! Here in CT it's been incredibly hot (broke the record for July) and we're had watering restrictions in place, but it hardly qualifies as a drought and so far all of the plants are hanging on - although the hydrangea I transplanted last summer looks quite awful...

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  29. That sign is sooooooo cute!

    I would love one that says: "Suck it weeds!!"

    Or something to that effect. :)

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  30. Gosh, Jean I hope you have had some relief by now. Missed this earlier. Good luck with your rose. ;>)

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  31. Water has been pretty scarce in many parts this summer. Even my garden had some casualties and they were in the shade. But as you know, Texas can be brutal on a garden. Even my caladiums melted under this heat.

    Hoping for cooler and wetter days ahead. - Tim

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