If plants could do the same thing I know I would be getting an ear-full right now. While I was busy swanning around Europe for a month my poor garden was slowly desiccating. I really did try my best to prepare it for my absence but I also rely on a little rainfall to help out. It was not forthcoming this time and my drip irrigation system is no match for this brutal Texas sun. (The garden is too much of a responsibility to leave to someone so I let it fend for itself.) There is a lot of damage out there.
You probably had no problem identifying the desiccated individual above. When I left there were a couple of nice green cantaloupes, which I carefully wrapped in netting, to thwart the critters.
I was so looking forward to enjoying a plate of melon with prosciutto, just as we have had many times in the past 4 weeks.
So, you can imagine how I felt when the reality sank in that my lovely cantaloupes would not be on the menu. Ah! well, maybe next year.
All my cactus and agaves are in pretty bad shape. Most of them were under cover where they only get morning sun but the dry heat has most of them shriveled and sunburnt. There is plenty of sun scald on the ones that are in the open.
But I have learnt one thing over the years and that is that these will mostly repair themselves when they get a little water and temperatures moderate. For now I am getting out the sunscreen cloth to give them a little relief and next year I will put them under the trees outside the garden.
It is never a good thing to arrive home in the late afternoon, when the day has taken its toll. That first walk around the garden can be heartbreaking. Much better to wait until the morning when new flowers will have opened on the gaura and will be wafting on the early morning, cooler air. Cooler by Texas standards at 75° and enough to give a little respite for the plants.
My first morning, jet lag had me up before 5am and, in the dark, doing my first job; filling the stock tank pond in the entry garden which was down about 12" Fortunately because the plants are in floating islands they had survived the drop even though leaning. As daylight broke there were a couple of lovely surprises. Both the white echinopsis and the plumeria were flowering.
Then I began to water with the hose giving the plants growing in the gravel a much needed drink. That has been my main focus for two days in the short window of cooler mornings. Just a little water each day to get the plants used to the fact that I am home to take care of them. And this morning a water lily in the recently filled stock tank bloomed with a beautiful white flower. ( A passalong from my friend Cat at the Whimsical Gardener)
Things are already starting to look up.