Well – it’s going to be an interesting year. It has become very, VERY clear that our big drought out here in California is only digging in for the long-haul, not easing up.
So I’ve cut way, way back on my plans for this year; I have a feeling that just about anything I do plant now in these milder months I’ll just have to watch die later this summer, when we no longer have a drop of dew in the mornings, and the sun is mercilessly beating down on everything.
I’m not exactly giving up on the garden entirely – it’s more that I’m having to take a big step back and come back at it with a different perspective on things.
Basically, I have to be able to keep things alive using more greywater than fresh city water; I have to rework the way I plant and protect to be increasingly water-aware. And able to hand-water – I won’t be able to rely on the drip system to take care of it for me, I will need to have time every day to get out there and individually take care of every single one of them. Egads.
I’ll also have to make more and better use of greywater, and figure out just how much I can reasonably do on a lot less water than I’ve used in years past.
For the moment, I’m focusing on keeping the longer-term investment plants alive. The fruit trees, rhubarb and rosemary, the artichoke bushes and the blackberries. If I can at least keep those reasonably well-watered and alive for now, I’ll call that a win; if I have enough water left over, I’ll think about putting a couple of the beds back into use. I have a feeling it is possible, but I’m just not sure right now.
The only real news in the garden right now is both related and kind of sad – this big old tree is officially, and completely, dead.
We stopped watering the lawn last year because of the drought and local watering restrictions – but we’d thought the tree had deep enough roots to be tapping into the ground water. Nope. The water table has dropped so low over the last couple years that even a tree of this size couldn’t find enough water to sustain itself.
Farewell, old fellah. We appreciated all the shade you gave us during the long, hot days of summer. You’ll be missed.
(But we won’t miss the bird poop – yes, that’s what the white stuff on Homer is, the birds also love the tree and show their appreciation…copiously. Note the lack of street parking – not shown is the enthusiastic nature [or as some have put it, the black and petty souls] of the suburban answer to the meter maid, who love to start slapping pink and orange notices on your windshield if you park on the main thoroughfare up around that corner for more than, say, eighteen seconds. The birds, they have had us RIGHT where they want us, for LO these many years…)