Back in the day, even though I knew better, I prided myself on the 'Big Moments' in my garden. Sure, lots of splash and color, but oh boy…did I use water. Lots of water.
It did look kind of awesome, though…. I must admit.
|Just one of several walls of roses… now no more.|
I would rationalize my garden water use by not showering every day. When I do shower, I am frugal…ish. You know the drill if you live in California..turn the water off while you suds up, have a bucket to collect the water while you wait for it to get hot…that sort of thing.
I mean, I try. Really. But.. I always feel guilty watering as much as I do. Even back then.
Now it's the same drill- the water saving stuff- but on steroids.
These days, more than half the roses are gone, and many of those that are still left are on the chopping block. To keep them looking great, it just takes too much water.
The keepers are the old gals. The heirloom climbers that only bloom once in the spring. These roses are champs, it seems, no matter what. They will stay. At least for now.
So. Now I am growing things that don't ask for much. Much water, much fussing, much cutting back..Easy peasy plants.
Can you say 'succulents'? And no big surprise to me…they can look as amazing as roses...
|I can't get enough of this color combination.|
|Plus, the hummingbirds go nuts over the succulent blooms. Nice.|
My pal Tasha gifted me an old favorite of both of ours, a couple of weeks ago...Impatiens Balfouri, which is a reseeding annual that loves the part shade my garden has. By late summer, it will have done it's thing, and I'll pull it out. In the meantime, it will have spread seeds that will pop up next spring. If it rains, all the better. They bring lots of fresh color to the shade border, and don't ask for much.
If it does get too dry, I'll throw some of my shower water on them!
Along with variegated plectranthus and hellebores, the shade border looks lovely, and doesn't take much water at all.
|Impatiens balfourii, here with a tuberous begonia just|
starting to bloom, behind it.
Some of my favorite 'texture' plants are in containers. These plants look beautiful together, and I water them with the water saved from the house. It's amazing how much water you can collect just waiting for it to get warm enough to do the dishes… Enough to water my potted plants once or twice a week, which is all they need.
Again, these are pretty tough characters.
|Asparagus fern and another type of begonia, also a gift from Tasha, each in it's own pot.|
I just love these together.
|More of the same.|
The begonia blooms are a perfect shade of pink. Perfect.
While I'm writing this, I am realizing how many very cool plants my dear pal Tasha has given me, either as cuttings, little babies, or gifts from the nursery. It just reminds me of one of the reasons why I love to garden. The 'sharing' aspect of it is so great.
I need to keep reminding myself of this, because it's getting so easy to just say the hell with it all…sometimes. Gardens take bunches of water and work….I just want to run away…but I won't. I'm hooked. I'm a full blown junkie.
Plus….the rewards can be pretty damn sweet.
|Thanks, Tasha. This begonia 'cutting' is about four feet tall, and growing.|
Tough, too! Another one in a big container.
A big reason why I put many of my favorites in containers..big containers mind you, is that our soil is very sandy. It doesn't hold water well. I have added enough compost, mulch, organic this and that…It helps a lot, but it's still difficult to keep things watered.
Containers can be filled with shovels of awesomeness, and also mulched to help retain moisture.
It seems to work for my garden space, anyway. I just keep saving up as much water as I can to use in these situations.
Sure, on super hot days, which are few and far between, thank god, many of these beauties suffer and wilt down. They come back, as soon as the heatwave ends. So far anyway. I just saw the new 'Mad Max' movie, and I guess all bets are off when the real shit hits the fan, drought wise.
But, that's for another time. …..right…..?
I said…RIGHT? Yeah, right. We are so screwed.
This last little garden moment is from Johnny's studio garden, which is very sunny. The red trumpet vine is just a beast…and the Iochroma, with it's purple trumpets, is another super tough dude. Together, they bring a big bang of color to a very sunny, somewhat hot area. Both get cut back pretty hard from time to time, and this just keeps them looking good.
Since a hard frost seems like a non-starter here, we just won't worry about that….for the time being.
|Another killer combo.|
It may seem like I'm ok with all this garden change, but I'm not.
I miss my roses, clematis, foxgloves, campanula…all the lovely cottage style and super thirsty plants I adore. It's just what I have to do now in California. I save every biddy drop I can to help water at least some of my sweet garden. It's a drag, and it makes me just a little sad.
It also makes me want to firebomb the a-holes with their huge, chemically treated, water thirsty lawns who only come here for two weeks a year to f-ing golf. On yet another huge, chemically treated, water thirsty lawn. Arrgghhhhg.
Think I'll go sip a glass of wine in my very pretty and small, but mighty…. and increasingly drought resistant garden.
Oh, no. Am I going to have to give up wine? (whine)