Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9th, Before and After

When landscaping you hope your "after" photos look better than the "before" photos.  It did not work out that way this year.

Last year on October 9, 2010,  I took a photo to document progress.

The same photo exactly one year later.

So why does the second one look like it should be the "before" photo?  The 2011 drought and heat has been brutal.   As you can see, the Zebra and Ruby Crystal grasses in the driveway island about halfway back on the left are toast.  Both of them looked great in that spot for two years, but this year fried them despite regular watering and it turned out they weren't drought tolerant enough for this drought.  So even more drought tolerant grasses Muhlenbergia lindheimeri and Nassella tenuissima will replace them soon.

The small Sago in the foreground has been transplanted to a shadier spot and replaced with Dasylirion wheeleriSalvia greggii and lantana are struggling compared to the show they put on last year.

The oak trees were watered this year and while they aren't as full they will be fine.  We got rain just in time.

The lesson is that sometimes despite your best efforts things just go backwards.  I'll take this as an opportunity to learn what "drought tolerant" really means here in San Antonio.


  1. Great before-after comparison, and good substitutions...and you've got sculpture. I hear you on drought and heat affecting Salvia greggii (or most other Salvia I know)!

  2. Thanks DD, it's my first post showing the work we've done here so good to know I've learned a few things.

    Yes, I do see those trees as sculpture against the house and try to keep sight lines open.

  3. I talked to my son who lives in San Antonio, they said they've received 2" of rain. awesome. I left a comment on your last post, don't know what happened to it however. Good to see a San Antonio blogger.

  4. Thank you greggo, your previous comment never showed up. I'm glad this one did because I certainly appreciate your input.

    The recharge zone has had up to 8" in some spots so we're catching up pretty fast.

    Stay tuned....the next post is Rainbow Gardens on Bandera Rd. which looks amazing. The Thousand Oaks store should be the following week.

  5. How fantastic are your oaks and mountain laurel, though? Your lot has good bones - I look forward to seeing more of it! Cyndi

  6. Glad to have found your blog. I live in Spring Branch just north of San Antonio and I started my blog in May 2011. Like you, I began my blog with after photos that looked like before photos! I love Texas, the weather is going to get better.

  7. Cyndi - Thank you, the mountain laurel has been there about 20 years and is a show stopper when in bloom.

    Kim - So nice to hear from you and find another blogger just up the road.

  8. There's drought-tolerant and then there's drought-tolerant. This summer really illustrated the difference to us central Texas gardeners, didn't it? Your mountain laurel looks great, and you've made smart substitutions for the plants that didn't succeed. Let's hope (against hope) that next fall looks much greener.


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