A Drought-Tolerant Garden: I'll second that..great article!

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A Drought-Tolerant Garden

By SongofJoy
February 10, 2012

The year 2011 was a violent weather year in the US, with at least 12 weather-related disasters exceeding a billion dollars in damage. Some say it was Earth's most extreme weather year since 1816. Much of the country suffered from record heat and drought . . . and so did the yards and gardens.

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Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Feb 10, 2012 6:31 AM CST
Thanks, Tee. So well thought out, laid out and informative.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Feb 10, 2012 7:22 AM CST
Appreciate that, Sherry. Gardening here is much different than my West Coast gardening was. Quite a learning curve on some things. Blinking I'm still in the process. Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Feb 10, 2012 12:13 PM CST
Very different..lol. I spent a couple of separate winters in Iowa and couldn't believe the trouble people would go to in order to save their plants, or get through winter....lots of determination on the part of people in colder climes...and now to have to deal with so much drought on top of all that. Gardners are pretty tough people...lol.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Feb 10, 2012 12:49 PM CST
I agree
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Feb 10, 2012 12:58 PM CST
You can say that again. I used to just plant things in the ground out there and hardly ever give them a second thought. It takes a lot more forethought, planning, and effort here to make sure things thrive and survive. Sometimes a whole lot more. Today at our winter Farmers' Market (if you can call it that), I bought a gorgeous head of organic cabbage and some lovely organic celery that had both just been pulled out of the ground this morning and still had the mud on them (organic mud, lol). The fact that our winter has been so warm this year allowed a bit for that, but those farmers went to great lengths and lots of work to keep those crops going here in February! Tough, tough folks. Looking out my window right now I see a few snowflakes.




Thumb of 2012-02-10/SongofJoy/f5a8fc
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Feb 10, 2012 1:55 PM CST
Good article, and timely. We've only had one day of freezing temps. The grass never died, the weeds either. I'm battling Bermuda grass in my verbena out front in the hell strip. I think this summer is going to be a struggle. Looking back at photos from a few years ago, I see so many plants that just couldn't take the extreme temps and are gone. We have had a little rain, so maybe the bulbs will do well this spring. I can always hope. Isn't that what gardening is all about, anyway?
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Feb 10, 2012 2:49 PM CST
Thanks, Sandi. Bermuda grass is the bane of my gardening existence. Grumbling I think the only way to describe what you all have had is "brutal". I hope as well that your bulbs do well this spring and you have more rain. It's so hard to watch things you've planted and worked on take a beating like that. Sad Yes, what would we gardeners do without hope??
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Feb 10, 2012 6:45 PM CST
I think it was Bermuda Grass that ruined my hands, years ago. We've had so little rain here and it doesn't look like we'll be getting any rescue for the rest of what remains of our 'winter'...so I'm finally digging up some things and letting a lot of what was formerly 'garden' revert back to brown grass in summer. I'm putting together my 'Ark'...two of everything to go into pots in the hopes that if we leave, it wil be to some place that gets rain and the water bills don't keep jumping astronomically....9-12" of rain per year just doesn't make it anymore. For years I justified $200-300 a month bills in summer, but no more. I can think of so many other things now to do with that money...like EAT.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Feb 10, 2012 7:32 PM CST
I spoke too soon. It'll going to be 34 tonite and below freezing tomorrow night! After cooking out tonight, we just came in from covering all my ferns, as well as other tender stuff, I placed into the yard after such a mild winter. Maybe freeze will kill off a little Bermuda toooooo!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Feb 11, 2012 4:13 AM CST
I do remember that, Sherry. Ugh. I grouse about some bone dry summers but with the amount of rainfall here, I can keep rain barrels full ... except for the one summer that even they ran dry.

Same here, Sandi. It is going down into the teens and we have about a 20-25 mph windchill out there right now. It's going to be a raw weekend. I pulled some of the daff blooms that are close to opening and brought them inside. They are quite hardy but down into the teens is pushing it. I at least want to see some of them be able to bloom this year.
Glare
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Feb 11, 2012 8:12 AM CST
I got up really early and checked the thermometer. It was 31, so I turned on the heater in the hoop off the patio. As soon as the sun came up, it warmed up. Tomorrow night will be windy with freezing temps. Guess we're having our winter a little late.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Feb 11, 2012 8:37 AM CST
And here the azaleas & camellias are blooming, the turkey oaks have swollen leaf buds ready to pop, the wild cherry has begun to leaf out & there are some gorgeous small leafless trees covered with tiny white flowers (NOID to me as yet). We are predicted for a hard freeze tonight at 25 degrees followed by 2 nights of 21 degrees. Early spring followed by a winter snap. Crying
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Feb 11, 2012 9:03 AM CST
The words Florida and freezing just don't go together in popular thinking. Well, TX either, for that matter.

Sandi, is there info about your hoop house on here somewhere?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Feb 11, 2012 9:19 AM CST
Here's a couple of them. The second is the one that we attach to part of the patio in early December and remove by end of February.
First one is along the fence line between our yard and neighbors.

http://garden.org/articles/view/Bubbles/30/Constructing-a-te...
The thread "Temporary Greenhouse" in Greenhouses forum (scroll to top of thread)
[Last edited by Bubbles - Feb 11, 2012 9:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Feb 11, 2012 9:55 AM CST
Thank you. Do you have a lot of wind to contend with?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Feb 11, 2012 10:12 AM CST
Yes, we're at the top of a hill and the north wind comes whistling in! We use batten tape (the black straps) anchored with tent spikes to keep the plastic from lifting. Rocks and the bottom of the plastic keep the cold and the critters out. The only times we've had a problem with the wind is when I've opened the side one up by rolling the plastic up and the wind picked up before I noticed it. Plastic blew over the fence, but only that side. The other side was connected to the fence, so we just threw the plastic back over the fence and over the hoop.
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Feb 11, 2012 10:43 AM CST
Very good and information article Tee! Thumbs up

Loved all the photo's! Hurray!

Hardy makes me smile too Green Grin! , love roses, and I'm definitely a zone pusher although I seem to try and push north instead of south.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Feb 11, 2012 10:53 AM CST
Thank you, Vic. Glad to have your contagious enthusiasm. Thumbs up

Do you have a lot of roses? Bet not as many as daylilies. Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
vic
Feb 11, 2012 11:43 AM CST
I only have 7 roses.

I don't have a lot of daylilies but it is the plant I have the most of. Green Grin! It is very hardy, most bloom for over a month, and I think it's just totally cool that that you can take the seeds from the pod, if you choose, and come with up many different colored daylilies.

I entered one in the db a few days ago that had been registered in the late 1800's and had over 200 child plants. Wow! I just love the history of them Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Feb 11, 2012 11:56 AM CST
I can see why. Very cool! Hurray!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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