Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Joys of a Drought

OK, face it.  There's not really a joy in having a drought.  Plants get parched, they begin to die.  Watering becomes a chore that has to be done daily.  The garden aches for rain, and it shows in the small blooms, wilted leaves, and dying branches.

But I was always taught to look at the bright side of things.  Were you?  And since this is a blog about joys, I decided to make a list of the joys of a drought.

1.)  You learn quickly which plants are drought tolerant.  That can be a big, big help in years to come for future planning (and plant replacement).

Rosemary, behind Showbiz, is drought tolerant.

2.)  Watering every day becomes the only chore you really have time to do.  So, weeding, mulching, planning, transplanting, etc. all get put off.  It's a nice break, really, from those chores for a while.

Yarrow is a beautifully foliaged drought tolerant plant.

3.)  Watering can be very beneficial to your mental health.  I water by hand, so it becomes as meditative as weeding.  You think of things you never would without having done this chore.

Lantana never complains about too little water.

4.)  You are in control of the water (unless the well run dry).  If your plants want more water, you are in charge.  Just take another hour out of your day, and you can give your plants the amount of water they want.  (I know there are exceptions, but let's keep it positive.)

Lavender (this is Provence Lavender) is a nice fragrant, drought tolerant plant.

5.)  A drought is preferable to a flood.  You can at least try to water the garden to save it.  With a flood, control is completely out of your hands.

Sedums (This is Autumn Joy) don't mine a little bit of dry weather.

6.)  This too shall pass.  I get reminded of that each time I complain.  I know eventually the drought will end.  Unless we turn into the next Sahara.

Well, that's enough joys.  I must go outside now to - you guessed it - water my plants.

Are you having too much rain this year, or too little?


  1. Way to find the silver lining . . . even if it's a bit tarnished and you've got a headache from the search ;-) I think we've got all your water up here - we keep wishing it would stop raining every day and warm up. We are on the other side of the state from Seattle, after all, and our spring weather is supposed to be different from theirs!

  2. We are in drought conditions and have been for several years now. I have to hand water every day too. Hopefully we'll both get some rain soon.

    Your bloomers look they are doing well.


  3. Way too much rain here! But, in keeping with your positive post, no floods and no tornadoes! It is good to observe which plants can survive without coddling. I enjoy hand watering too. It affords me the opportunity to get up close and personal with my plants. I'm hoping rain comes your way soon. I'd gladly give you some of mine if I could. :)

  4. We quickly left storms into he 90's. Hope drought is not starting early here. Have most of these, but think I really need to get some Lantana.

  5. My husband came in today and announced he had me a present - 300 feet of garden hose! Watering is a chore, but I like it because I get wet!

  6. Hang in there! It's also an opportunity to see your garden in a different light, without all those blooms cluttering up the structure (!).

  7. Too cute!! I totally love these positive things and will certainly try to remember them when watering. We are entering a drought period here too and I hate it. Last year I tried to swap out all water thirsty plants with drought busters-moving the water hungry plants closer to the house. We shall see how they all do this year because while I like to think positive about droughts that water bill-well it tends to chase those good thoughts away-pretty fast too!:)

  8. Hi Holley - right now we are having lots of rain. I find hand watering my plants very relaxing for some reason ...

    I love your photograph of the Provence Lavender. Lovely!

  9. Glad you can be upbeat with such trying circumstances. It's the best way to be since it s out of your control and its a lot healthier for you to look at the positives rather than the negatives. Wish more people could face life's adversities this way.

    Thanks for your post.

  10. VW - It's been an odd spring all over. I hope things warm up for you. Thanks for the chuckle.

    FlowerLady - I'm sorry you're in a terrible drought. It makes you feel so hopeless. I have put a lot of plans on hold because I know the plants wouldn't make it. All the rain is coming down in the wrong places!

    Grace - I'm glad to hear you're not getting flooded, at least. And we haven't had any tornados here, either. Always something to be thankful for.

    Cher - Lantana are great. You just have to be patient in the spring. They are the very last thing to show some green.

    Deb - What a great gift! I hope it was the unkink-able kind. I hate it when I have to go unkink the hose. Getting wet does at least cool you down!

    Cynthia - lol - A joy I forgot to mention!

    Tina - I hope the move of the plants will fare well for you. At least you won't be watering as much area, i hope.

    GardeningBlog - We didn't get the autumn rains we usually get last year, no winter precipitation, and no spring rains. I'm glad to hear you're getting some autumn rains.

    Marcia - If I could change it, I would. But since I can't, I've got to live with it some way. I really do feel lucky when I hear of all the rest of the devastation in other parts of the country.

  11. I tried to remind myself today too of the 'benefits' of drought...I'm not feeling as optimistic as you are. I'm ready for rain!

  12. We are also finally getting a break from the rain here as well. I love your attitude about droughts LOL.... in our situation, it ended up being a case of "be careful what you wish for" LOL.

    We had a wet spring this year and the sun is finally out...hopefully to stay awhile!

    Last year our spring was terribly wet with a lot of flooding. I found out the hard way that YES, you CAN pray too hard, and I must have because the spring floods were followed by a summer drought that was so severe, virtually every community around - ours included - had a watering ban. We could water only every other day and only during a 2 hour block of time that was some obscene hour of the very early morning.

    I was ever so grateful to whoever invented water timers and also to whoever invented SoilMoist. You have to get it down in near the roots but that stuff is gold in a drought. The surface soil was cracked and dry but the plants were thriving. People would look at our garden and ask us if we were watering extra in spite of the ban. Actually, during the ban, we watered only once a week.

    If we have another serious drought this summer, I will think of you, chuckle, and count my blessings!

  13. What a wonderful post! Love your positive attitude, your plants look lovely despite the lack of rain. So wish I could bundle up some Seattle clouds and send the rain your way =)

  14. I agree with you. We choose what we think about. We can complain or be thankful in the same situation.

    Enjoy your lovely garden. Spring is beautiful!

  15. Cat - I'm ready, too, but I think we're already in the summer drought mode, unfortunately. I'm disappointed every time a cold front goes around us, but eventually one will push through.

    Cathy and Steve - From drought to a flood! Gosh -that has to be hard on the garden and the gardener! I am going to look into that SoilMoist! It sounds great.

    Julia - I've always said it would be great if we could control the weather. Of course, I'd want it to rain and my neighbor would want sunshine, so I guess it's better left out of our hands!

    One - I'm still here, and plants can be replaced, if necessary.

  16. We are in drought every summer (except this one so far), and even hand-wtering becomes a big chore by October.... I am glad you are keeping a positive attitude about it, I will try to remember some of your points next time I am tired of having to water...

  17. Beautiful photos to match beautiful thoughts!

  18. I like this idea of looking on the bright side of a challenging situation. When I read your post header, I immediately thought "More time for picnics, swimming, and relaxing in the sun!" (After the watering, of course.)

  19. HolleyGarden, you're very wise to be looking on the bright side. And you gave us all a good laugh. I know we're in a drought by looking at the field behind my house and everybody's grass around town - all of it crispy, but the roses and other plants in my garden get daily misting early in the morning on a timer, supposedly using only one-thirteenth the amount of water that a regular sprinkler uses. So as long as the city doesn't run out of water, I'll be OK. I hope everyone else will be, too.

  20. Hi HolleyGarden! A great post! I would typically be in your situation about now but for some reason the intermountain west/high desert has decided to become more like it's close neighbor the Pacific Northwest! Normally, I would be into the deep watering schedule by now but instead just waiting for a warm day. Anyway, I loved your pictures and the reminder of the plants that are truly drought tolerant. I'll need that info close at hand soon enough! Thanks again!

  21. We're currently having two days of summer in Northern Ireland (heat above 60 F) and then likely to be rain at weekend. We're rarely short of rain. You've some lovely plants as usual. Kelli

  22. Masha - I am used to no rain during the months of July and August, but am surprised you still have to water in October. Usually by then, we are getting fall rains. This drought is a bit different. The rains since October have mostly gone around us. Not sure why.

    Chris - Thanks. My camera and I don't always see the same thing!

    PlantPostings - Yes, and if the whole garden dies, there will be lots more time for all that! lol

    Sherry - I have wondered about systems like that, but I have very many plants, bulbs, etc. stuck all over the place. Does it water the entire garden, or just spots like a drip system?

    igardendaily - Enjoy the rain while you get it. I hope it does warm up a bit for you, though. It is, after all June!

    Kelli - Wow - only two days of temps above 60! We are up to triple digits already. That's why Ireland is so green and beautiful - plenty of rain.

  23. Husband and I were just chatting yesterday about drought tolerant plants and plants that can survive weeks on end without water...there is drought tolerant and then there is drought tolerant....dry and hot here!

  24. I feel much better now, after your up-beat look at the drought conditions. I, too, must water daily, but my poor garden wants a good natural drenching! I've tried a rain dance and it seemed to make it worse!

  25. Darla - I agree that drought tolerant does not equal drought proof! Very different meanings.

    Egretta - A rain dance! Maybe I should try that. Glad to see you can comment on Blogger now.

  26. We finally got an irrigation took us a while to make the decision, but I am glad we did. I still water my potted plants, etc. I am hoping to have more control as well....we'll see how it goes. Thanks for reminding me of some drought tolerant plants.

  27. Sage Butterfly - An irrigation system sounds wonderful. I think I'm just a little afraid that I won't be able to install something that will get to all my plants. I hope yours works out well for you.


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