Sunday, August 21, 2011


It is dry on my prairie and so are my thoughts about blog topics. I do have a few topics rattling around in my head. I just have not been compelled to water and fertilize them. We are under watering restrictions, you know.
A week ago, my prairie was fortunate enough to get around one half an inch of rain. It was not much, but still enough rain to trigger a few blooms and this post.

These rain lily flowers, Cooperia pedunculata appeared a week after the rain.

The brief rain also encouraged another round of flowers on the beebrush, Aloysia gratissima. Beebrush is a shrubby member of the verbena family whose multitude of fragrant flowers attract hoards of bees and even a few butterflies like this gray hairstreak, Strymon melinus franki.

It is already late August. Surely this hot, dry summer will end soon.


  1. Great shots! Love that butterfly. I hopped over from Toni's blog.

  2. Looks like the Four-Nerve Daisy (right?) is happy. And the prickly pear, too :-) I was at a friend's today and she had some container plantings of cactus and agave and they all looked perfectly happy in this heat. I think it would help if even just the nights would drop a few degrees and get down into the 70s instead of staying in the 80s. The plants would be happier. Gardeners too.

  3. I think things are looking up. Going back to full time work today after 7 month injury. Won't be able to garden as much. I should take some tips from you on irrigation and plant selection. greg.

  4. Congrats on the rain. Amazing how even just a small amount of rain can compel the blooms to come out. Great pic of the butterfly.

  5. I'm glad you got a bit of rain, and hope your weather will improve more soon. In spite of everything, your garden is still more of an ascetic way at the moment, but still beautiful.

  6. I've never been jealous of folks living in the Metroplex...but you've had more rain this year than anywhere else in the state...

    Your garden still looks good, better than 2009. I remember the deep cracks in your ground then.

    Hope rain comes for all of us.

  7. Thanks for stopping by and the comments, One.

    Toni, That is four nerve daisy. I would not say it is happy, but it is blooming and enduring the heat and drought like the rest of us.

    Good luck getting back to work Greg. I don't know what kind of work you do, but I find hard gardening labor less tiring than sitting at a desk all day.

    Thanks, Holley. Still hoping for more rain--for everybody in the region.

    Scott, Thanks, I think? :)

    Kathleen, we were fortunate to get a little more rain a little earlier in the year. Unfortunately, it did not take long for us to catch up with the rest of the state. Even with those deep cracks in 2009, I think the plants looked better. I watered a little more in 2009 because the plants were new. This year, I am forcing them to earn the "drought tolerant native" label.

  8. Your prairie garden is looking pretty despite the awful drought, Bluestem. What a gorgeous substitute for the browning lawn grass seen everywhere.

  9. Thanks Pam. We started outdoor watering restrictions a week ago. It is amazing how many more lawns went from green to brown in that period. People just don't water properly. You can keep a lawn green around here with one watering a week. Our restrictions allow two waterings a week. The problem is that people give their lawns light and frequent waterings. The grass does not develop deep roots, dries out quickly and turns brown.

    I am glad I have a drought tolerant alternative to the lawn. I have noticed more people driving slowly past my yard lately. Maybe they are getting ideas for changing out their landscaping. Although a neighbor did ask why I had a stock tank in my front yard. I told him it was Austin chic. I don't think he approved.

    Congratulations on the book deal! I am looking forward to more great words and pictures from you.

  10. That last picture is awesome. Is that your front yard? Wow! I love the gravel look...something I aspire to have here in Houston.
    I'll answer your questions here since I'm not sure if people check back on blogs for answers.
    Allocations: I watered a section, checked the water meter at the start and the finish, and got my numbers. I watered so little, but it used so much. I was shocked. Ugh!
    That rock I have.... I need to do a post about it. It's a natural stone from my wife's pioneer property. Her great grandmother recalls that it was used by Native Americans for grinding seeds. It'a a family heirloom that I've inherited. It's from Dripping Springs, Texas near Austin.
    Rains are coming this next weekend. Hope it gets up to your area as well. I don't think any of the dryscape will rot from rain, but the thought did enter my mind. Should be die from rain....that's just sad.
    David/ Tropical Texana/

  11. David, that is the decomposed granite pathway across my front yard. It is used by the door to door solicitors as they cut through the yard.

    I lost several agave a couple of years ago during a wet, cold winter. It caused the roots to rot. Maybe you will not have that problem since it does not usually get too cold in Houston.


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