Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fire and rain

We returned from our trip through Louisiana and Mississippi (and flirting with Tennessee) to find our yard even drier than we had left it and wildfires raging in the adjoining counties. And today the hot stuff REALLY begins because this is the first day of summer.

Everywhere that we traveled while visiting family and friends, the countryside looked lush and green compared to what we have become used to seeing here. This was true even though some of those places had been dry recently, too. The difference was that they had received plenty of rain in winter and early spring.

Along our route through Louisiana, the Atchayfalaya Basin and adjacent swamps and streams were full of water giving a jungle appearance to the land. The Mississippi River was still stretching to the top of its banks, as were most of the smaller rivers along the way. In short, we saw plenty of water and it was a wonderful sight.

But it wasn't only rivers, swamps, lakes, and reservoirs. The first night that we spent in North Mississippi, it rained! I cannot even describe what joy it was to hear that sound and see those drops. It rained pretty steadily all night and on until the afternoon of the next day. Area gardeners and farmers could count 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain, depending on where they were located. Afterward, the countryside looked washed clean in a way that we haven't experienced here at home in Texas in so many months now.

Throughout the roadsides that we traveled, black-eyed Susans, Queen Anne's lace, the native butterfly weed and phlox, as well as the naturalized ditch lilies, bloomed in gay profusion. It was enough to gladden the heart of any passing gardener and it certainly gladdened mine.

Much as we enjoyed our trip, it is always good to come home again, even to a super-dry garden that seems on the edge of disaster. The weather forecasters assure me there is a chance of rain this week. We'll see.


  1. Fires were north of us, several friends were in danger of losting homes. I thank God they didn't!!! And I'm so thankful for the rain, however we still need more here in Texas!!!

  2. The rain today was welcome indeed, Donna. We got 1.6 inches at my house, and there is still the possibility of more in the forecast over the next couple of days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.