The Drought Garden

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9July 27, 2014

It's not much, just an honest look at what it's like to have a garden now. It's a far cry from a few years ago, even a summer garden. I took pictures of the few roses blooming, not much out of about 65 roses. I had made moats around the roses filled with leaf mulch, and this held the water in really well and the roses began to perk up. I went out one morning and they had all been destroyed, with the leaves raked away and the roses left baking in the sun when I came home from work. My guess is a desperate raccoon, who was looking for snails in a last-ditch effort to locate food of any kind. I haven't seen a single snail since, where before the garden was filled with them.


At least the Crape Myrtle is blooming


Potter and Moore


La France at 104 degrees


White Pet


Belinda's Dream


Bishop's Castle


A little color


Le Vesuve


Mutabilils after its haircut


My garden is hoping for better days.


The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild

Ingrid

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

It looks good to me especially mutabilis. The ones near my house are either mildew covered or scraggly. Do give it a lot of water? Did the pruning benefit it?

Thank you,

Anne

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a

Lovely! You have about the same amount of blooms that I do right now. Happens every summer. :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I do water every day or every second day when it's this hot because otherwise I'd have no garden at all.

Anne, pruning definitely does benefit Mutabilis, although I really should call it a light cutting back. I did once prune it severely because it was declining, which was a good thing because that's how I found the gopher hole and the reason it wasn't doing well. Even then it bounced back beautifully, although it's not something I would recommend more often than every 4-5 years. The light cutting back, as long as it's mulched and watered, makes it put out new grow and then flowers almost immediately.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

Thank you, Ingrid. Your picture makes me think I might like it in my garden.

Anne

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Nice pics of your roses,shrubs, ingrid! :-)
Your Crape Myrtle is looking good also with all those blooms.

104 degrees---- :-O

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

It still looks beautiful and there are still some blooms. What's really bothering me in my garden right now is that all the ground covers are drying up and dying because I've had to hand water the roses. The other thing that I haven't talked about on the forum is that the deer are besieging us. We have hundreds of feet of fence. In nearly twenty years nothing like this has happened before. They are desperately jumping in. I can't even tell where anymore. They almost killed all the many potted roses, which I have since moved to a safe place. I am happy to see how drought tolerant the established Ramblers, Species Roses, and OGRs are. It's all a new learning experience.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

That is bad news about the deer, mendocino_rose. Are the surrounding hills dry, and is that why your garden looks like a giant buffet to them? I'm always torn because I feel sorry for the animals, who are just trying to survive, but feel distressed about the damage they inflict.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

Ingrid, it looks beautiful in spite of the drought. You've really done an amazing job of keeping it going under such conditions.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Thank you, seil, it's so nice of you to say so. I'm sure there will be fewer roses in my future, but I hope to always have some of the outstandingly beautiful but also tough ones, and fortunately there are a few. I know you've had losses through this bitter winter, but I'm glad to know many have survived. We must have our roses.......

Ingrid

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Yes Ingrid the surrounding hills are very dry. The deer are desperate. That's why they have been trying so hard to get in. It's sad for them and sad for me. Dealing with the fence is hours of work. Michael can only work on it on his days off and I'm too scared to get up on a ladder on the steep hillsides. Hopefully this nightmare will end.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Ingrid (and others in the hot-and-dry) -- have you ever tried incorporating vermiculite into the soil? The potting mix I made this year included it, and I notice that it doesn't dry out nearly as fast as the potting mix I made last year without vermiculite. I later discovered the "Mel's Mix" recipe (equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and various compost) for square-foot gardening, and what I put together myself is somewhat along the same lines. It's more expensive than peat moss or manure, but unlike the organic amendments, vermiculite is a mineral and won't break down. Maybe you could do a "Mel's Mix" before adding new layers of mulch, and perhaps that will help.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Ingrid

Those are photos of a garden that is lovely and needs no fudging or regrets! The contrast of the pink blooms against the misty green haze of the foliage and background is haunting, and provides a drama that those of us in greener pastures can't begin to provide. There's a reason why "a rose in the desert" is a metaphor for almost unattainable beauty, but you certainly have achieved that and more in your garden. As folks were quick to remind me - any bloom is something to cherish, and your view overall is breathtaking.

Sympathies however on the ongoing drought. I know it causes no end of worry and doubt about roses, but it allows you to identify the roses that will truly love you back and survive in your climate for the love you spend on them (and water).

Keep up the great photos

Cynthia

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Thank you all for being so kind, and Cynthia especially for your evocative words which made me see my garden with different eyes. I tend to compare the now with what I had in past years when rain was much more abundant but there is no going back, and I need to build a new appreciation for what my garden is at present, and what it's still capable of.

Pam, my heart goes out to you and the deer. It's a terrible situation with no solution that I can see. Please do stay off ladders on unstable ground; nothing is worth having a terrible fall, and the roses won't know how to comfort you.

Christopher, I wonder if vermiculite works well in poor soils such as decomposed granite, although of course we always add plenty of bagged soil to it when planting. It's an interesting idea, though, and I want to look into it.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sidos_house

Ingrid, your garden looks beautiful!

Pam, is there any way you could get some day labor over the weekend to help your husband with the fencing? Are you fenced in completely? We had to fence in our three acre property last year. It was a significant expense but worth it and not horrible. I was having car issues at the time and said if we can only afford one of these expenses, we're paying for the deer fence. I just know you have an extremely special collection. I'm concerned for you. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bethnorcal9

You have a lovely garden Ingrid. Love that BELINDA'S DREAM!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
henryinct

I have over 300 plants including 120 roses and 82 miniature roses on five drip systems all controlled by timers and everything still looks good. Almost all other roses around here (Pasadena) look bad to me because they are on aerial watering which can't do the job in the intense heat we have been having. Drip watering with heavy mulching does work when the soil has been conditioned as it must be here.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Sidos we could really use some help but we're a little short on funds. We are entirely fenced and gated with an eight foot fence that was sufficient for many years. The drought has made the deer desperate and willing to try nearly anything. I found a spot yesterday where the little ones could crawl under.
About the Vermiculite, my own situation and that of many Californians is very dry summer and very wet winter. In that case I don't want to encourage water retention in heavy clay.
Ingrid I know your beautiful garden will make it through this hard summer in to another lovely spring.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
henryinct

The rose garden by the pool taken 10 minutes ago. This is due to soil enhancement, mulching and most of all, in-ground watering. It is 99 degrees today and the roses don't like it but they're doing very well under these conditions.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sidos_house

Pam, that's what we have too. Until your husband can get to everything, maybe you could walk the perimeter with a bunch of baggie ties and pegging hooks and scraps of fencing? And just make do up as far as you can reach safely? That's how I make repairs. Perhaps tacky, yet pretty effective. Again, best wishes!

Ingrid, I look at your roses and can help but noticing how well foliated they are. You should see some of my roses ... almost naked.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
socks

I've had the same experience with what I also assume is raccoons since I see them often enough. They dig around the very base of the rose bush, quite deep. I've even had them dig deeply around sprinkler PVC. Must be earthworms there.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:26PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How cold and for how long?
Last night's hard freeze wasn't that hard at my house....
stillanntn6b
Question for celeste
I was reading some old posts of yours and seen that...
mooseymommy1
For those looking for Poseidon/Novalis
Heirloom Roses has it! I was so excited when I saw...
Rosecandy VA, zone 7
NEVER plant a wisteria and kill it when it starts growing!
Our local electric co-op just came out and took down...
particentral
Beauty of Glazenwood
Starting to bloom. Tough to photograph. Picture taken...
deervssteve
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™