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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Drought - The Great Equalizer

Regardless of the disposition and actions of the gardener, drought is the great equalizer of gardening.

Pessimistic gardeners hear rumors of a drought early on and decide that there is no point in watering because there is no way to keep up.  Without extra water, by mid-summer their lawns are tan, many perennial plants are shriveled up and by mid-day each day, most plants look like they could use a good soaking and a blast of air conditioning.

Realistic gardeners, once they realize the drought is going to last longer than a few weeks, start gathering together their container plantings to make them easier to water. They decide ahead of time which sections of the garden they will water and which sections they will leave because they know it isn't possible to water it all.  Even with all this planning, by mid-summer their lawns are tan, many perennial plants are shriveled up and by mid-day each day, most plants look like they could use a good soaking and a blast of air conditioning.

Optimistic gardeners know about the drought but keep thinking that a thirty percent chance of rain means that their gardens will surely get rain that day.  They also assume and hope that many of the plants are resilient enough to recover from the drought once the rains come, and the rains will surely come soon.  They do water, though, but by mid-summer their lawns are tan, many perennial plants are shriveled up and by mid-day each day, most plants look like they could use a good soaking and a blast of air conditioning.

Opportunistic gardeners, once they accept that they are gardening in a drought, start to look for drought tolerant plants in the garden centers to add to their gardens. They see extreme drought as an opportunity to overhaul their gardens and change up the look of them.  Even with their planned changes, by mid-summer their lawns are tan, many perennial plants are shriveled up and by mid-day each day, most plants look like they could use a good soaking and a blast of air conditioning.

In the end, when all these gardeners get together and compare notes, they collectively realize that regardless of what they do, the results in a drought are much the same. By mid-summer their lawns are tan, many perennial plants are shriveled up and by mid-day each day, most plants look like they could use a good soaking and a blast of air conditioning

The drought is just bigger and stronger than any gardener.  It is the great equalizer. Knowing this hopefully  makes it possible to look forward to the next season, which the optimist tells everyone could be normal or maybe a tiny bit rainy.

******

We've just survived the hottest, driest, damnedest July ever in Indianapols. Dear August, pay no attention to July, be your own month -- make us proud!

7 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Drought is an emphatic reminder that rain is the best thing for the garden.

Heidi/IN Woodland Gardener said...

Yes, August, be your own month and make us proud!

LOL

Leslie said...

I will think good thoughts and hope you get some rain soon. So sorry Carol.

Earth Girl said...

Please, August, be kind. We are building a house and I have flowers planted for a wedding on September 1 at both places.

Cathy said...

I hate to admit it, but you're right. No matter what we do we lose! But I think most gardeners are optimists, and amazingly most things come up again the following spring! Loved this series on drought... got me thinking! :D

flaneurgardening.com said...

A drought! Oh, what a lovely thing that must be, quoth he, the Flâneur Gardener stuck in a wet Danish summer...
(Remember that even at its lowest, the water table is only around 1½' below my lawn... and at its highest it's ½' above the lawn!)

Jason said...

July was kinder to us in Chicago, we got enough rain to actually green up most of the lawns. Best wishes for a normal August.