Hi! My name is Anna. My husband and I live in in Wichita Falls, a city of approximately 100,000 people located in Wichita County of North Texas, which is situated along the Red River border with Oklahoma. We live in an area that experienced an intense and considerable drought from 2011 until mid-2015. The combined water level of the three lakes from which all of our consumable water comes stood at 21.5% on May 6, 2015. Outside watering was forbidden and other water restrictions were quite stringent. Because of this many folks began taking far-reaching measures when it comes to gardening and landscaping around their yards. Many are moving away from grass and are turning to drought-resistant species of plants, rock gardens, pea gravel expanses and various types of mulch in an effort to transform all or portions of their property into areas that can withstand both extreme shortages of precipitation and intense heat. I’m one of those people. I hope to use this blog to talk about garden and landscape modification prompted by drought as well as to highlight the basic nature of the everyday garden.
As of May 2015 our drought has broken. We received exactly 17 inches of rainfall during May, filling our lakes to capacity and causing immense flooding in many locations. As of June 16, 2015 our rainfall for the year — 28.69 inches — has far surpassed the annual rainfall totals for each of the past four years. It is more than double our total rainfall of 2011 and is within just a few tenths of an inch of reaching our average annual rainfall with more than six months left in the year!
What exactly is the weather like where my garden grows? Well, here are some quick historical facts about Wichita Falls weather, as well as some more recent data:
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: Zone 7b
AHS Plant Heat Zone: Zone 9
Record High Temperature: 117°F (June 28, 1980)
Record Low Temperature: -12°F (January 4, 1947)
Average First 90°F Temperature: April 9
Average First 100°F Temperature: June 9
Most 100°F Days in a Calendar Year: 100 (2011)
Most Consecutive Days With Temperatures At or Above 100°F: 52 (2011)
Fewest 100°F Days in a Calendar Year: 1 (1950)
Average Annual Rainfall: 28.9 inches
Rainfall During the Last 5 Years: (In Inches)
12.97 (2011) — 19.81 (2012) — 21.33 (2013) — 23.77 (2014) — 28.69 (thru June 16, 2015)
Please click here for hot weather temperature facts for Wichita Falls, Texas, provided by the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Norman, Oklahoma.
As evidenced by the above information, gardening in North Texas can be a grueling task. Temperature extremes, from one season to the next or even from one day to the next, can be taxing on even the most ardent plant lover. What survives and thrives during one summer may not even make an appearance the next summer. Flower seeds planted in the early spring will oft times make their way through the topsoil, only to wilt before they have a chance at life. The last several years have been exceptionally difficult. Though we have found our way through recent drought we must still garden with fortitude and resilience, using native plants and conserving our precious water resources! Conservation never ends.
Along with playing with plants and gardening I enjoy reading, cross-stitch, baking and Bible study.
Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Thank you for visiting my blog and please come again!