September 15th, 2011
GBBD 201109: Sep 2011


Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites us to tell her what’s blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.

September 15, 2011

Due to the ongoing Texas drought and the record breaking heat, almost all the plants in my garden have died. Only four are flowering and all because they were near something being watered. The senna and datura are getting water from my neighbor who overwaters.

The City of Austin is on Stage 2 (mandatory) water restrictions now. That we went from voluntary to mandatory only on September 6th amazes me. If you would like to understand the seriousness of our situation down here in Texas, look at these photos: Texas drought and wildfires. Lakes have dried up. Livestock and wildlife are starving. Fires rage.

How can gardeners help? Not by giving up their gardens as I have. (My decision not to garden this year goes beyond the bad weather or a desire to conserve water.) Gardeners can help by providing a refuge for wildlife — food, water, and shrubbery to hide in. Many of us have observed an increase of wildlife into our gardens. Most of my fellow gardeners take an extra effort to provide for wildlife including birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Gardens are important in the drought.

The City of Austin is also offering incentives encourage people to just let their lawns die and then replace them with more water efficient and wildlife friendly plantings.

Gardeners should also cut back their dead, dry plants. Unlike the true desert, Austin alternates wet years and in early 2010 many of our perennials tripled in size. If they have died since, our houses and fence lines are lined with masses of small, dry fuel that can ignite with a spark or a carelessly tossed cigarette.

Complete List for September 15, 2011

The list of all plants flowering today, September 15th 2011, at Zanthan Gardens. A single oxblood lily opened this morning after I watered the banana plants in the same bed last Sunday.

  • Datura inoxia
  • Lagerstroemia indica
  • Rhodophiala bifida
  • Senna lindheimeriana

by M Sinclair Stevens

10 Responses to post “GBBD 201109: Sep 2011”

  1. From Dorothy/Gardening with Nature:

    Will the drought ever end and will there be anything left if it does? Maybe those four plants you mentioned. The search for the “drought-tolerant” goes on.

  2. From Starting a Garden:

    That’s sad to hear all your plants died except few. I like the idea of planting drought tolerant plants to provide food for wild life in the garden. Replace lawn with other planting are great. Less lawn and more garden:)

  3. From Carol:

    Who could ever predict something like this for gardeners in Austin and elsewhere where they face such serious multi-year droughts? It’s heartbreaking to read about, let alone actually experience. The lawn incentive may be the best thing to come out of it all.

  4. From scottsdale gazebo:

    Sad for your garden =(

  5. From Angelina, Oregon:

    I would have thought that with mandatory water rationing people wouldn’t be able to keep their lawns alive anyway. I also wouldn’t have thought of how important it is to provide habitats for wild animals during droughts- that’s really good to know. Obviously I don’t live in a region that gets droughts but I had never thought of that and I hope some people are doing it. I truly hope you get relief from the drought soon. If you were to get rains, what months is it most likely to happen?

  6. From Chris - Florida:

    I really hope texas gets rain soon. I have a friend in texas… He told me how bad it was but I had no idea until I read your post. Best of luck and I hope you get rain as soon as possible!

  7. From still learning gardener:

    I have just moved into my new-build house and have invested in one of the new
    Rainwater Harvesting Systems
    It is paying dividends given the lack of rainfall in the West Midlands at the moment and having a water meter as well. Cannot recommend the guys at enough. Well worth a look at their website, they do loads of stuff.

  8. From Jenn:

    I haven’t visited in a while and am sad to hear a hint of troubles in your world – “My decision not to garden this year goes beyond the bad weather or a desire to conserve water.”

    I hope such things resolve in a manner that brings you peace.

    Be well, friend. I am thinking of you.

  9. From Todd Eric:

    I always think of my sins when I weed. They grow apace in the same way and are harder still to get rid of. It seems a pity sometimes not to nurture a pet one, just as it does to destroy a beautiful plant of Wild Mustard, or of Queen Ann’s Lace.I like this site more&more.

  10. From Cheryl in Austin:

    I pretty much gave it up too…this fall I’m covering some 20 sq. feet of pathetic grass with mulch. Only food planting here, but I have 5 bird baths, 7 hummingbird feeders 5 seed feeders and my heart is going out to the critters. Several folks in my neighborhood have decided to let their lawns go…but not all, the water cops need to visit Crestview…