Damaged by Drought

– Posted in: Pests, Plagues, and Varmints, Plant info

image of wilted lilac bush and milkweedIn a dark sort of way, I was inspired by Don’s garden tour to give you one of my own. Both of our gardens have been plagued by drought, but judging from his photos, he is able to water his garden, which is never as good as plentiful rain from the sky, but helps a lot. I can’t water on a regular basis because we have a shallow well and we put a high demand on its resources. Consequently a walk through my garden is a painful exercise. Here we have a wilting lilac bush accompanied by wilting swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). This is the only milkweed common in our area, and I wonder if other species of milkweed would look so wilted. Of course, other species of milkweed wouldn’t enjoy the damp conditions that occur here in a normal year, and under which the milkweed normally thrives. No one seems to mention that the flowers of swamp milkweed are wonderfully fragrant. I have mistaken them for oriental lilies.

image of tunic flowersTunic flower (Petrorhagia saxifraga aka Tunica saxifraga) requires good drainage, and I sometimes have trouble keeping it through the winter, so I modified the soil to have better drainage. The middle plant made it through the winter, but expired sometime this summer.

image of wilted peonyYes, even wilted peonies. It hurts to go past them on my way to the mailbox.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Alice Nelson September 14, 2005, 3:13 pm

We have been able to water,since we are in a city, but it costs, of course. Since I have plants in pots for peoples’ gardens, I have to water, and also can’t let the garden go (Some-thing about the shoemaker and shoes for his family). When our thirty foot lilac hedge (10 feet tall) began to wilt, I had to water it, too. Never before. One problem has been tokeep my clients watering sufficiently, since many do not realize how deep down dry it is. One actually asked the person who does their sprinkler system to turn it down! Their flower beds, needless to say, are in bad condition. Then there is the person at a local gas station-store who watered for 6 hours at a time and missed the petunia beds, so 3/4 of them died.
So they not only had a landscaping bill, but a high water bill as well and bad looking beds.
Not smart!