Tuesday, September 13, 2011


NOTE: This is mostly for my own benefit, but if you want to take a look inside my brain, read on:

Funny balloon we used for helium payload experiments in my classroom today.
This will be my expression when it rains!

Not so funny...another wildfire on my way home from work. This one was at George Bush Park west of the city.

1)Why was it 102 degrees this afternoon?
2) My beautiful camphor tree is wilted and the leaves are turning brown. The head of landscaping at U of H says it takes 500 gallons of water per week to keep larger trees alive at this point in the drought. I don't have that much water to spend. The 2 loquats are still being watered and hanging on though wilted.
3) My neighbor's Alaskan Malamute got out and into my yard while I had my 4 chickens out for their daily 'free range' time. The dog ran out the gate while I threw Hoot and Phoebe into the house and scooped up Zeebee and threw her into the hen house. I chased Gwen around since she was panic stricken. Got her safely into the hen house but I bumped her head on a board when I stuffed her into the pop door. She said 'Squaaaack!' The two chickens stuck in our house for awhile were baffled by the tile floor. My neighbor has to fix the hole in his fence.
4) Saw another fire today near my school. It was in a wooded area in a large park west of the city.
5) It is forecast to rain 5 days in a row later this month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.6) My water bill is the highest ever at 12,000 gallons. We've had .05 inches of rain this month....about equal to nothing.
7) I have listed about 35 tropical looking plants that still look good despite the drought...a list I'll use if we have another drought year in 2012. The agaves all look fine.
8) I'm turning most of my yard into gravel if we have 11 inches of rain next year. I will pretend I live in Marfa, Texas far to the west.
9) Rain or shine,
drought or flood,
freeze or heat wave,
I will continue to write a Garden Blog.


  1. To have fires nearby must be terrifying.

  2. I've gardened more years than I care to admit...mostly in the Dallas area.
    We moved here three yrs ago this month. Just in time for two out of three years of drought.
    This is the worse I've ever seen. We may all have to rethink all of our gardens.
    We're Texans, we're tough and we won't give up.
    Hang in there...stay safe.

  3. We have had a couple of fires on my side of town too, a few miles from my house. It's unsettling.

    I am learning so much about which plants in my yard are drought tolerant. So far the winners are:

    -wandering jew. Definitely the winner, holy cow. I planted it in a front bed one year so it basically covers the whole bed in purple every summer (and then dies off in the winter). I have not watered it at ALL - the only watering it has gotten this whole year has been the handful of days we got rain. And yet it is thriving. So thankful for this ruggedly invasive plant bringing color to my life.

    -containered dwarf citrus trees. They are so so happy. I squirt them with the hose a little once or twice a week. One of them is laden down with fruit (first year!) and even had a fourth flush that is producing.

    -gardenia in a pot. Green as ever and happy with a little squirt of water once a week or so. It loves the heat along with the citrus babies.

    -rosemary. I wouldn't say it *loves* the drought but it is a stubborn little bugger and refuses to give up. I finally went out and gave it a good soaking a while back.

    -hosta. This is the really surprising one. I had one in a pot that I put outside to get rid of some gnats, and the leaves all dried up in the sun. Now that they are gone I have new growth, more than ever, and really healthy and full and green. It also only gets water once every week or two. I don't know if all hosta are like this, but this one is certainly going strong.

    -knockout roses. I don't know how they are still around and blooming but they are. What a tough plant.

    Most of my gardening is indoors these days. Keeping my ferns alive, my little bromeliad, prayer plant and pineapple (and a handful of succulents) keeps me going.

  4. The fires in Texas are heart breaking, David. The GB Park fire hit very close to home as my parents live off of Eldridge. They had packed some things and were ready to evacuate should it have gotten past the freeway. Your friends in New England are praying! Have a great weekend, Candace

  5. You keep this blog. This is good information and I can't believe the amount of fires that you still have popping up this time of year!!! The problem with the comments here on drought tolerant plants is that they can't handle cold cold nights during the winter. So my curiosity is....what plants will handle the colder than Tucson winter nights? Rosemary will tolerate the cold and heat....and does very very well in Tucson as does lavender. The Dwarf Citrus, like some of the Kumquat, will do well without too much protection.....keep your records. I love your vegetation there and it pains me to hear that severe changes are happening. I wish we could have shared some of our inundations of water. A man was killed yesterday as 2 inches fell in one hour and washed the man out into a wash. Very sad. Hang in there.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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