I’ve spent the last several months doing everything possible to keep my flower beds and garden areas from frying. High temperatures and water rationing aren’t exactly garden-friendly. It’s been difficult deciding which plants will live and which might need to go.
We took up the grass in the backyard. I couldn’t stand looking at the dead patches and it seemed unreasonable devoting water to green I didn’t care for, while a twenty year-old hydrangea was going down for the count. Even the succulents look stressed and need an occasional drenching.
We also sacrificed some very old, and once favored camellias. I couldn’t imagine any way we were going to resuscitate them without heroic measures. They are now gone, but I found a way to divert attention to revive multiple gardenia bushes I just couldn’t think of losing.
The point is that we’ve adjusted our expectations. I’ve rejoiced at every little rain shower, no matter how infrequent or short-lived, and stopped complaining about inconvenience in personal water usage if I could share a little more with my thirsty garden favorites.
You’d think that would be enough! But I couldn’t say “no” to the possibility of another garden challenge. I’ve taken on the volunteer responsibility to oversee the multiple raised garden beds at Sophia and Karina’s school.
The modest but charming garden area has seen better days. The school is saddled with the same water rationing–two times a week–as every home residence.
These poor strawberries don’t look too good. I think it’s pretty great they survived summer, but we’ll have to see what happens next.
I’m starting small with a few pollinators and hummingbird-friendly plants. We planted a few herbs in the “pizza garden” and we’ll see how it goes before we add much more.
All future plans are dictated by weather conditions and water delivery.
And what if we have too much water?
Maybe there’s a change in the near future? Wouldn’t that be something!
It’s hard to ignore nearly hourly reports that El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean are growing, and to quote a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “Whether El Niño gets slightly stronger or a little weaker is not statistically significant now. This baby is too big to fail.”
In hopeful preparation we have purchased three rain barrels, added new gutters to the entire house, and will continue a project started last weekend of adding just a little ground cover to some of the recently created “grass-free” areas. Rain and dirt equals mud.
It seems a little early for our rainy season…or maybe I just forgot how that cycle works. Sixty miles north of where we live, but still in Los Angeles county, freak flash floods put all sorts of havoc in motion this afternoon.
One news anchor asked, “Will this have any bearing on the Dodger game tonight in Chavez Ravine?” The meteorologist hesitated slightly in his response–perhaps he wasn’t expecting such a valuable question, but he then politely responded, “No, I don’t believe it will.”
The anchor looked very relieved as she said, “Good! That would be a BIG problem.”
Well, she’s certainly breathing a bit lighter than the poor people stranded in mud on Interstate 5! They needed to be rescued from the freeway and taken somewhere by bus. I think they probably missed the Dodger game entirely!
So this weekend we’re going to do a little more weather-proofing. It looks like we just might be in for a little change!
While we work in the garden, our dog sets the tone for not taking it all too seriously.
Whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you capture a few breathing lighter moments.
We’ll compare notes next week!