July 8th, 2006
Week 27: 7/2 – 7/8

photo: Zephyanthes grandiflora
2006-07-05. Austin, TX. A rainy week brings out the rainlilies (Zephyranthes grandiflora).

Dateline: 2010

A week of rain. We hire R. to replace the fence on the south side. I remove all the ivy. They remove the scrub trees growing in the fence line. The pond and the rain barrels are overflowing. Temperatures in the low 90s while the East Coast hits the 100s.
Dateline: 2006
Cloud cover most of the week kept highs in the tolerable low 90s and provided occasional scattered showers. The result was very muggy. However, I’m thankful that it wasn’t as hot as last year given that on Thursday (7/6) we were without electricity the entire day while our service box and meter were being changed over to a new system.

An electrical storm competed with fireworks but didn’t rain them out. We had light rain for a few minutes almost every day this week. It wasn’t the drenching we needed but it was refreshing and it filled up my rain barrels. I didn’t resort to the hosepipe once.

Almost nothing is flowering–only the plumbago, the cleome, the wild ruellia, and the Turk’s cap. None of them make much of a floral impact. At least the garden looks green for the moment. I know that won’t last long.

First flower: Malva sylvestris ‘Zebrina’ (7/2).

Dateline: 2005
104! Today’s high breaks the 1956 record of 102 degrees. Last week I was wandering about San Francisco in a sweater and a windbreaker and not missing Austin one single bit.

The garden, if it can be called that, is a bit of a disaster right now. What isn’t shrivelled brown is sunburned. The squirrels keep stealing the tomatoes. (This is the first year they’ve ever done it; I think they’re thirsty.) The only thing that’s blooming is the plumbago and the Tecoma stans (just barely).

Although I often compare our summers to winters in the north, the major difference is that the plants don’t go dormant to prepare. They just get zapped. Last year at this time we had an unusual amount of rain and I returned to a jungle. This year I’ve returned to a desert…except that the humidity is 33%. On the bright side, we seem to have less mosquitoes than usual.

We had five 100+ days and then yesterday broke the streak by only making it to 99 degrees. Our weatherman Jim Spencer has sworn not to shave until it rains again. His beard is getting quite long.

by M Sinclair Stevens

3 Responses to post “Week 27: 7/2 – 7/8”

  1. From Kathy (New York):

    We could use the rain ourselves. And it’s been in the 90s. Today, only in the 80s but the humidity was over 80%. And we don’t have air conditioning!

  2. From bill:

    We had a little rain over the weekend. Not much really but it cooled a little

  3. From mstevens:

    Ugh, Kathy. It doesn’t sound much like cold-climate gardening. Or rather I didn’t realize your summers were miserable as well as your winters. At least I have fall and winter and spring to look forward to.

    Bill, we’ve had a few scattered thunderstorms in the area. I heard one clap of thunder last night from a storm to the east. We have a promise of rain from Hurricane Dennis, but it looks like it will swerve east and miss us. I feel sorry for the people on the coast, but us people inland do look to hurricane rains for some relief.