Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Morning That Sparkled

Tuesday night we got a brief but heavy burst of rain.  Wednesday morning glittered.  



I walked the garden, thinking about what to kill.  We are supposed to reduce our water use by 35%. 
No, you don't have to worry.
I went Navy for my morning shower, but that won't be enough.  Plants must die.   
A reason to go Navy:
I can watch them slowly die for lack of water, or dig them out and not look back.
Any volunteers? 
Mr. Hummer seemed a little dazed and confused by the rain.  Me, too.
Beautiful right now.  Too beautiful to think about killing plants.   I'll put off the killing and think more, but I feel like the serpent in my own Eden.
 Don't waste it!

 
 

26 comments:

  1. So sad when you have to think about killing plants. Great photos as always.

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    1. Yes, it is sad. Usually I don't have to help them, they die on their own. ;-)

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  2. Gorgeous, sparkling photographs of your plants and flowers and such a lovely photo of Mr Hummer. Is the situation so drastic that you will have to dig out plants or let them die slowly? An awful decision to have to make as your garden is so beautiful. :( Do you have rainwater tanks, can you recycle your grey water, only switch on your drip system in the late afternoon or early evening to avoid any evaporation?
    My garden is not much, I have very few exotic plants, just 2 patio roses in pots, one in the ground. Most are hardy natives which seem to survive with little water once they have established, yet over the years I have lost many of those too. My leucadendron has survived mostly on rain water for many years, it was just coming into bud and now I see that it also is dying, thank goodness I have some photos from last year.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. I collect rainwater, obviously I need to collect ALL of it, but rainwater has been scarce these past 4 years--we have had little run off. The drip system goes on at 4:00am. There's a thick mulch on everything. I'm going to focus on making the irrigation more efficient. I found and fixed a couple small leaks--even that will help.

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    2. I hope you can find a solution dear Hoover without losing many of your plants, as a garden as beautiful as yours is a work of art .
      xoxoxo ♡

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  3. Refreshing rain, your roses look awesome in the morning light. Would you be required to reduce your water consumption the same percentage as those who haven't already made the same steps you have? Our water bills show how we are doing relative to the neighborhood and also the city as a whole so the water system folks know where to focus conservation efforts.

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    1. Yes people who have water running down the street from their 10,000 square foot lawns and I have the same requirement. But I'm not resentful so much as wondering why they don't care about waste?

      An old guy in the neighborhood told me a couple of years ago to slop and waste and over water, because when the restrictions came it would be easier to meet them. I guess he was right.

      I think I will be able to conserve more, just have to work on it.

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    2. Drought or not, no point in wasting any resource.

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  4. Beautiful glittering morning. Thinking of death on such a day... Media vita in morte sumus. Amarae morti ne tradas nos. (In the midst of life, we are in death. Do not give us the bitter death.) Let's just hope for more rainy mornings! Fortunately, you have many beautiful succulents that won't mind the lack of water. So sorry. Greywater for irrigation?

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    1. Longo vivas tempore et bene sit!

      I am trying to figure out the grey-water thing, yes.

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  5. Glad to hear you got some rain, too. We had 3/4" on Tuesday morning. At least I won't have to worry about watering for a few weeks.

    The water situation is on my mind constantly. In a month of so, I'll run our drip systems once a week for 20 minutes to start out with. Most of the landscaping will be able to take it. The lawn, small and somewhat weedy as it is, will get 20 minutes a week as well but I'm willing to let it go completely if things get worse.

    The City of Davis already instituted tough rules last fall and we apparently already fulfill the new mandate without further reductions. But I still see a lot of water being wasted, not just by private households but by institutional users. The latter is tough to take!

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    1. 3/4"! What luxury!

      Great that you are already fulfilling the water rules. You may be getting a lot of questions from neighbors soon about how to do it.

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    2. I meant the city of Davis as a whole is already meeting the new water goals because of the restrictions already in effect. I don't honestly know how much water our household has been consuming because the city didn't properly read our meter for a long time. But that's another story.

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    3. I can't imagine you are wasteful with water.

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  6. I wholly empathize with the "serpent" comment. I keep looking around, asking myself which areas I'm prepared to sacrifice (the slope? the veg garden?) and wondering if there's a solution or a strategy I haven't considered. We're in the 35% category too. We've checked and adjusted all our irrigation valves. My husband converted another area to drip for me. We've argued about the value of adding more rain barrels but I think I've won that argument - if I had the money and the right space, I'd put in a cistern. I'm planning a mulch delivery next week. Removing the rest of the weed lawn, currently used as pathways, is on the docket. I'm exhausted and very, very sad but I haven't given up.

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    1. Lots of work ahead--we just have to get it done. Sounds like you've done a lot--hopefully your next water bill will have good news.

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  7. We can only do what we can do and try not to let resentment for those who don't get the better of us. I salute your efforts.

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    1. Avoiding resentment, yes--it is wise. I'm just baffled--why would someone want to waste water and throw away money?

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  8. How did you and Kris and Gerhard find out how much your city is required to reduce?

    I would like to know for Monterey Park. It helps to know with the planning and planting. 35 to 0. Wow! What a difference.

    About graywater. They (agencies) have made it sound so difficult. I use a garden hose to siphon the water out of the bathtub and laundry tub. After I start the flow, I go outside and fill the basins by moving the hose by hand. Apparently shampoos and body soaps in the small amounts used in the bath don't harm the plants. My bathtub is higher than the front yard. The laundry tub where the washing machine empties is on ground level but I have terraces that are lower and use the water there. My house is pre-war (WWII). I guess newer houses don't have laundry tubs anymore. Is that right? The machine dumps directly into the sewer line? You have to use special detergents. I use Tide Free. http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/greywater-harvesting/greywater-compatible-soaps-and-detergents/

    Good discussion of the efficiency of rain barrels http://owendell.com/blog/general/roll-out-the-rain-barrels

    You are bringing up good topics for discussion. I am learning new stuff from everyone.

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    1. Excellent map here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/01/us/water-use-in-california.html

      It lists water districts not cities, near MP it was only 10-20 percent, not 35! You may be okay!

      I got a trash pump and pump bath water around. Once the siphon gets going I can shut the pump off. Also use it to pump rainwater around the garden. Handy to have.

      No, the pipe that dumps washing machine water is pretty standard--it pulls right out of the wall--the one attached to the washer--I am looking at using that water, but we have a super efficient washer and it just doesn't use all that much in the first place.

      Discussion is great--happy it's happening! We need more of it!

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  9. Well stated, H. Boo. Anyway, you have a way to go before you turn into a desert, and I can assure you, it's far from dead using desert plants well. Maybe more alive, and certainly less fake! Plus, roses can be grown on less, like manyh other plants.

    I think people are a bigger problem than periodic or record droughts. The NY Times articles I;ve read on Calif. lately have many interesting findings among the tired cliches about your area, which are not all true.

    Great pics as always, too!

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    1. Thank you!

      Too many people is the problem a lot of the time.

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  10. How lovely to have a heavy rain there! I'm watching with dreadful fascination the progress of California's water issues. Like you, I can't understand why some people and businesses are so profligate with this resource. Unlike you, I don't think I could decide to remove plants in response to a water-saving mandate: I think I would just have to see what did poorly as a result, and then take out the distressed plants. I hope I never have to decide.

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    1. Mandatory water cuts are forcing me to decide what I really care about. That's not totally bad...

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  11. 35% here as well, and me with my rock "lawn" in front, and the little backyard nine-tenths patio...! I hand-water the plants (that need it) once a week. Navy showers will be de rigueur among the gardening set, I'm thinking.

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