August 20, 2011

Broken records

I thought long and hard about whether or not to show you these pictures.  But so many of you got the mistaken impression that some of the images I've shown in the last couple of posts were in 'real time', giving you the false  impression that MY landscape and gardens had magically escaped the destruction of this heat and drought.  

Well, my darlings, it has most assuredly NOT dodged any bullets and here are the sad images to prove it.  As I write this on another sweltering afternoon, it is 107 in the potager, mercury rising, with a forecast of similar temperatures ahead.

As I told you yesterday, the yews and most evergreens have been particularly hard hit.  I am losing (most likely) about six fifteen-year-old yews.
The large terracotta here represents one of two topiaried yews I have been tending for over a dozen years.  I finally discarded them...too depressing. 
Lime mound spirea has really suffered, as has ANY south-facing it is the spirea and Boston Ivy climbing the wall. 
This is a five year old 'Wine and Roses" weigela in an unirrigated bed.  I've put a slow drip hose on it and it seems to be making a comeback. 
My biggest heartbreak.  I have cultivated this boxwood in the potager for almost twenty years.  This is an unirrigated area that I have always hand watered.  This year, no amount of water can relieve it of its misery.  Most plantings in the compartments I have already removed.  Simply too hot. 
 A close up.
A dying expanse of mondo grass growing between stepping stones.  It has been there forever.  :( 
I finally pulled out most of the contents of my window boxes.  The dwarf Alberta Spruces simply couldn't take it this year.
Dead twenty-year old azaleas.
 And more.  

Oops!  Forgot to rotate this one.  I am so much more careful with the the pretty images...

 I fear I will lose the whole thing before this heat dome weakens.

Showing you these pictures is an act of love, I assure you.  These images were very hard to take, and even harder to show you. Not to depress you or deflate your already bruised gardening spirits.  But to let you know, that ALL of us are experiencing it here in Oklahoma.

So don't beat yourselves up if things look horrid.  In all likelihood, no amount of water, or shade or shade cloth or mulching or wand-waving would have made any difference.  

But, my dears, the days are getting shorter....and even if the drought continues,
at least we know cooler days lie ahead.

And once again, in a season of broken heat and drought records, we will, like the proverbial broken record

because we are gardeners, and we must

start all over again.


  1. Same here in our yard here in Edmond. We had to move a bunch of plants and hydrangeas that only get a little morning sun. The heat has been intolerable. They say it will break in the next day or two...let's hope. :)

  2. Hi Linda, you poor thing! As you say, don't be disheartened, gardeners are indeed a hardy bunch. And some advice from someone who has come out of 8 years of terrible terrible Australian drought. Don't discard before you know what will recover. I know things look ugly and sad but you may be very surprised by some of the plants that spring back (pardon the pun) next spring.

  3. It's the same down here in SW OKC/Moore. So dry that the ground is cracking, and the huge Sycamore trees on the west side of my house, that are supposed to shade it, have lost all their leaves. At least the crape myrtles are thriving; they love the heat.

  4. Thank you for these. It really does make me feel a little better. If YOU can't outwit this summer what makes me think I can?... I'd love it if you could walk through sometime with me & make some recommendations. My best idea so far is rip out & put gravel in It's place...LOL. (crazy lady LOLing)

  5. Oh gosh, Linda. I had no idea it was that bad! How terribly frustrating! It wouldn't be so bad to lose a few plants, but when so many are damaged it must be devastating. I've never lived through a drought like that, but I think I would follow Alison's advice and see what comes back after the cool-down, some rain, and then of course another growth season.

  6. Oh Linda...I do appreciate your showing us your my garden (across from Lake Hefner) I have many shrubs and some that look like they need to be golden spirea too looks almost dead. My hydrangea blooms usually fade to a mauve and lime color..but this year they are brown...I have removed most of them as they will not be suitable for drying this year. The plants are still okay but not nearly as large as in years past. Most of my flowers are not flowering at all and I have lost plants in my window boxes as well. My geraniums look completely the words of the immortal Ernest P. Worrell.."you have to be tough to live in Oklahoma"!!! Thank goodness we are tough gals who remain ever hopeful for a new season of gardening..fall is on the way! Praying for a milder winter this year. Thanks for sharing as we know we are not suffering alone in our garden depression and efforts to keep things alive!!
    Sonia/Miss Bloomers

  7. The devastation is heartbreaking, dear Linda. My heart is with you and can only imagine your pain viewing your beloved garden. Not being able to enjoy outside in the scorching heat must be also be nerve-wracking ... ((BIG HUGS))


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