Monday, May 2, 2011


Uvalde, Texas is a nice town waaay on the other side of San Antonio. It gets half the rain we do...about 24 inches a year. We get 48 to 50 inches on average.  But not this year.  We've had half the expected rain.
Tonight, our best chance of rain in 93 days just flew by and we are now looking at another week until we get rain.
I've really tried to grow (lean, mean and green) drought tolerant tropicals these past five years in preparation for drier times. But to ask any tree or bush to go 93 days without a good rain is asking too much.  I have to have a different mindset and think of a garden in Uvalde, Texas. What would they grow?  My agaves and yuccas are nice. The palms are all drought tolerant species. The bromeliads are also okay.  We shall see what lives and what dies as I spot water until the next chance for rain.  I can only remember the horrible summers of 1998 and 1999 as a baseline for this experience.
   Droughts are like a noose that slowly tightens around each tree and each bush. When you finally realize how awful it all is, your plants are mostly dead. We are behind 14  rains now (a half inch of rain each time).
I know we shall get rain again.....someday.
A garden in Castroville, Texas. The open space between the plants will take less water. It's not a Houston, Texas look, is it? Will our Houston azaleas and magnolia trees be the next to die out? Will this be the future?

A Japanese garden with half the rain of Houston.  You don't have to water gravel  (as much).
Will this become a typical Houston lawn? It's not at all a bad prospect, as long as a lot of people start having gravel front yards so there's some continuity.  I wonder if this will happen.
(photo from Fredericksburg, Texas)

I already grow most of these plants so I'm half way there. This is in Castroville, Texas in a much drier climate than Houston.

Sorry I'm so pessimistic tonight. It's hard to watch rainfall pass you by week after week after week.
It's  hard to pour a bucket of water on a bush and know you'll have to do it all over again in a couple of days.


  1. It is really hard for me to wrap my head around this post. I just can't imagine. I'm not making light of your situation, it is just so foreign to me. Sure it's not at all uncommon for us to go for weeks in July and August without rain. Well actually I guess that hasn't happened at all the last couple of years. But I remember one summer where it didn't rain for a month and a half. That was heaven. We just have such different realities. I wish things could even out for he both of us and our gardens!

  2. I wish our HOA would let me get rid of my lawn. But they frown on that sort of thing. Seems like such a waste of precious water to be using it on grass that has no purpose. (and to be honest most of my watering is going to my vegetable garden out back)

    A friend of mine commented today, "I have forgotten what rain looks like. Is it still made of water?"

  3. You're looking at Hill Country landscapes as Houston's possible future if the drought continues. We in Austin & the Hill Country are looking at Waco or El Paso. Stark changes, and much as we admire the landscape in those other places, we want to keep our own, don't we?

    I hope the rains come back eventually.


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

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