Resilience- you can grow that!

Purple Coneflower and Yarrow, extremely drought tolerant herbs. They’re loving the heat.

It has been hot here. Crazy hot. Typically, in June we get nice moisture, soaking rains, heavy thunderstorms, nice misty days when it’s just cool and gloomy. Not this year. I realize it is hot pretty much everywhere right now.
We went LA on vacation last week, and it was cool and pleasant- too cool for the ocean almost. Then we ended the vacation in Las Vegas, and it was ridiculously hot. You expect that for Las Vegas, but we kept watching the weather for home, here on the front Range of Colorado, and it was ridiculously hot in Colorado, too.
The guy who mows our lawn was checking in on the cat, and a friend popped over to water the container plants and the tomatoes, but otherwise, we didn’t provide for sprinkling. I expected the worst when we got home, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The grass in the front looks awful, of course, but it almost always looks awful. It’s on the list for future projects.

The beds in back, though, look pretty good. They have plenty of mulch, to hold onto what moisture they get. They have plants that are drought tolerant, or native, or both. I designed them that way so they wouldn’t take much water, and would attract bees and birds and butterflies.

The golden currant is dripping with fruit, the lavender is blooming like crazy, the yarrow and coneflower and chamomile are standing tall.  They look better than I do, dripping and drooping, and praying for rain.

Plan for resilience- xeric doesn’t have to mean rocks and cow skulls, it can be dragonflies and birds and fruits and berries. It takes less water and other resources, and it bounces back from hard times. Resilience is a trait we all can use.

This is pretty much the same shot, from the same angle, as I took 3 weeks ago. It’s been watered once with a soaker hose.

Two books that influenced me tremendously are “Herbs in the Garden” by Rob Proctor, and “Gaia’s Garden” by Toby Hemenway.  Both books helped me learn to think beyond “vegetable garden here, lawn everywhere else.”


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jessegarden
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 06:02:30

    I should try this sometimes. Thanks for sharing,


  2. Trackback: Garden Bloggers You Can Grow That Day – July 4th, 2012 « Whole Life Gardening
  3. Isaac
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 11:08:51

    I love the title of this post 🙂


  4. Candace
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 19:01:02

    Another great book is The Undaunted Garden by Lauren Springer. She lives in my town and so now I stalk her yard to see what she is growing.


    • katsmama
      Jul 06, 2012 @ 09:02:12

      agreed- she has a chapter on the aftermath of a hail storm that is chilling. Do you wait and see what comes back, or do you weep over the green slush that used to be your herbs?


      • katsmama
        Jul 07, 2012 @ 22:38:01

        my gosh- listen to me- “chilling” descriptions of hailstorms…maybe I need to read things other than garden books to see what chilling is about.

  5. Jean Starr
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 19:10:31

    It’s good to see the summer stalwarts. Love the blue garden art! It adds just the right touch and draws the eye upward. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Tiny Tim's Garden
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 22:06:30

    Love all the different varieties and colors of yarrow. Thanks for being so conscientious about conserving water and for showing your beautiful garden.


    • katsmama
      Jul 06, 2012 @ 09:04:55

      Thank you. It makes sense to me to use less water, and as I work on converting the lawn to garden, I concentrate on edibles and low water use.


  7. bgbowen
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 22:08:06

    Thanks for being so conscientious about water conserving and for sharing photos of your beautiful garden. Yarrow is a fantastic, diverse plant.


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