I sometimes feel sad that my charitable live and let live gardening philosophy mutated these past 3 years to live and let die so others can live. Plants now need to routinely pass litmus tests of 1) Does this give sufficient value in return for water used? and 2) Would I buy that for there… Read More Live and let die
Irrigation is crucial when it seldom rains, and drip (unlike spray) is an effective mechanism to keep plants healthy with minimal waste. But it has some downsides, and now in our 6th year of a drought and 3rd of rationing, a gardener can either get creative or crazed. Drip is just that – a drip… Read More Offset drip’s downsides
With a heavy heart, I have come to the conclusion that sedum is not suited for waterwise gardens. Those in my prior gardens, such as Autumn Joy in Vermont, flourished, but ones I planted in Southern California’s dry climate wasted money, water, and time. I failed miserably with 4 varieties – Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, lineare… Read More Now you sedum, now you don’t
Who would have thought waterwise gardening would at times take Holmesian sleuthing? Unexpected increase in a zone’s consumption, change in a plant’s health, or surface moistness are all signs of potential waste. Sometimes, the signs are oh-so-subtle. Take a case with 3 oddities that haunted me for 2 1/2 years: My hypersensitive nose smelled something… Read More Channel your inner Sherlock
In yet another dry summer in year 5 of a drought, I’m reminded how names influence perceptions and actions. Shakespeare’s Juliet argued “That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” Maybe for Romeo, but not for amorphous concepts to transform water-intensive landscapes. Take ‘drought-tolerant,’ the industry-standard coinage for… Read More What’s in a name?
As smoke from the Sherpa fire stings my eyes and planes loaded with fire-retardant fly overhead, an ah-ha moment struck. Firewise landscaping is lean, clean, and green. Hmm…that’s waterwise too. Five years of drought, 58 million dead and dying trees just in California, and hot and windy weather make a tinderbox. The more flammable the… Read More Firewise…is…waterwise
A new NASA and Mountain West study reveals that lawn is now 2% of the continental U.S. surface and America’s single largest irrigated crop. Gulp! That’s 40 million acres or 63,000 square miles of green carpet, dominating many regions’ residential water use. Removal, a top priority in dry climates, saves the most hands down. Second… Read More Tackle lawn irrigation