Time To Kill Stuff

 No, not the Hunnemannia fumariifolia.  

The first dead lawn I've seen in the neighborhood.  This property changed hands recently.  The previous owners (I think) planted lawn and put in boxed Olive trees, and planted bedding begonias around the olives, perhaps for the purpose of curb appeal when the property was for sale.  Lawn around olive trees makes no sense.  The olives look better without the lawn.  A few Salvia leucantha would nice, planted in the fall, when they can establish on the lavish winter rain we will get.  I hope the owners know that recently planted olive trees need irrigation.  Xeric plants are xeric when established, not before. 
Back at home, experimenting with washing machine waste water--it's a matter of figuring out how best to get it to plants.  
 Our machines are located where getting the waste water to any planted area is not without complications.  So far, using the small trash pump and a long hose to send the water to the Syzygiums in the back is the most simple.  This morning I used a watering can and gave every clump of Hemerocallis a can full--that took more effort.  I'm going to get some laundry detergent advertised as good for greywater and see what dies and what doesn't.

Next on the topic of killing stuff,  got rid of two beautiful Hydrangeas, both just about to start blooming.  I would call them legacies of earlier days when I was first learning to garden.  Both were a souvenir from a Northern California vacation we took in 2004.  I bought them at Vintage, once a premier seller of just about every rose cultivar you could think of.  Vintage briefly tried selling Hydrangeas also.  Vintage went out of business because of a double-whammy:  the popularity of roses diminished in the late 00's and the real estate bubble burst in '08.  The two hydrangeas were a souvenir of a few different things--memories of a lovely vacation with my Love, an era, a nursery, a skill set, a point of view.  Goodbye to that.
 
 I thought about waiting until after they bloomed, but they'll bloom for months--too long, too much water.  Buh-bye.
 Buh-bye.




 The memories don't die, of course, but they are less recalled when the plant that regularly raises them from the roiling stew of consciousness is sent to the dump. 

Comments

  1. So what will take its place, another 'Hercules'? (I'm going to suggest 'Hercules' in every spot that opens up, because they're awesome and I can't grow them in the ground) :)

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    1. An all 'Hercules' garden...an all 'Hercules' garden...I'm liking that!

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  2. Good memories but sometimes it's good to let go of mementos too. Hope you won't get any casualties with using grey water, fingers crossed!

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    1. Let it go, let it go, get that song out of my head--- ;^)

      General comments I've read are that grey water is fine--Proteaceae excepted.

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  3. Oh dear, so sad to hoick a couple Vintage selections, but those Hydrangeas suck up the water like mad; I don't blame you. I'm down to one, a PeeGee which tolerates my lackadaisical watering practices just fine. It gets a drink once a month in summer , but lives in shade under heavy mulch. I'm really interested to hear about your laundry water experiment-my washer is in the garage and very convenient to the garden , but I would not know how to begin to move the water to the garden .Guess need to do some research...

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    1. I use a small Craftsman utility pump. It has a hose attachment and submerges into the barrel. It's how I move rainwater into the garden. I move rainwater from my barrels--great little thing, would not be without it. Since the property is sloped I can just get the siphon started with the pump and then gravity-run.

      http://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-Submersible-Portable-Utility-Pump/dp/B0015G3D16

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  4. That's sort of sad, but I guess if you weren't ready to say goodbye, it would've stayed a bit longer. Now think of all the possibilities you have to fill its spot :)

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    1. I'm going to move in a couple of roses from the "outer rim" of the garden, to reduce overall irrigation. Must save that mandated 36%!

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  5. I guess I admire your resolve...I'm not sure I could just yank two memento shrubs on the cusp of blooming, but you are disciplined - and realistic. I am crossing my fingers for the neighbor's olives. In addition to the sheer dollar value in them, they are handsome specimens that I'd adore having here.

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    1. Olives thrive here--hopefully they are established enough...there is another neighbor whose Olive is 40' tall. Most people keep theirs trimmed down but he let his grow wild. It's quite a tree.

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  6. So sad. I haven't had the stomach to go through my garden to evaluate what is unlikely to survive - I may let nature take its course there.

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    1. Too painful to watch slow deaths. More might survive for you in your more mild conditions near the Pacific. It does make a big difference.

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  7. Your pioneering gardening style will be fun to watch and an example to us all.

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  8. Your comment about xeric plants needing to become established before they're xeric made me laugh. But it was a pained laugh because in recent years several people have told me how disappointed they were with such plants because they died in a matter of months. Probing deeper, it typically turns out they put them in the ground, watered them once (if that) and left them to their own devices. The concept of getting plants established was novel to them.

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    1. You said it! Was it on Loree's blog the nursery sign that said something like "You still need to water xeric plants!"

      So sad how many people have no knowledge or love of the world of plants.

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  9. We've been discussing the laundry grey water, but I'm thinking our fairly new, high efficiency front loaders aren't going to give up much. I used to stop by Vintage too on NoCal trips. All those rarities out of circulation -- where's another Empress Josephine when you need one?

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    1. It was interesting to actually do some laundry and see how much the machine uses. Easy to pull out the machine's hose and stick it into a barrel and see.

      There a still a few specialty rose nurseries around, thank goodness.

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  10. New to your blog but not new to drought; I live in Las Vegas. Xeriscaped yards are the norm here. In 2003 grass was outlawed in the front yard for new homes (a big deal since two cities here were very quickly the second and fourth fastest growing cities for the next three and a half years).

    I grew up in Southern California; we recently went back for my brother's wedding and it amazed me at how much greener it is than here.

    I love your mulch. It's such a nice change from the rocks we see everywhere here. It's also a reminder of what I used to see in California, in places like Descanso Gardens.

    A long term thought: try a front loading washing machine. One of the reasons I have a front loader is the much lower amount of water it uses. The grey water hookup would need to be configured a but differently but could be done.

    I've been using water collected from the shower to water potted plants, I have two buckets in the shower: a 3 gallon one and a 5 quart ice cream bucket.These collect water while I wait for it to warm as well as while I am in the shower. I use this to water potted plants.(A nearby friend of ours replumbed his whole house to make the grey water from the showers and washer go to a holding tank for his vegetable garden; he turns it on when he needs it.)

    I'm assuming you've cut back on flushing already. We have low flow toilets and shower heads here (as mandated by law) but I've still cut back on flushing. A regular toilet can use 1/3 the indoor water for a household. Even if I'm cutting down on a low-flow one, though, it's still cutting.

    I have an ice cream bucket (again, a 5-quart one) that I keep in the kitchen for rinsing produce; all of that goes outside. I also walk the last rinse of rinse water from the pots and pans into the garden.

    I put the same kind of bucket in my bathroom sink as well, to catch the water when I wash my hands.

    It's harder to cut so much since you're already on drip with xeriscaping.

    When our governor spoke right after yours I watched with serious concern, but he had different things to say, since we've been cutting for so long already. The water district says that we've cut 25% over the last 15 years--while at the same time, our population has grown 40%. Not long after I moved here, grass was ripped out at churches and around businesses. The water glass rule at restaurants was established years ago (and does make a difference!) Water days and times were established, and the water police will write you a ticket if you water the wrong day, time, or if your water touches the sidewalk or street. 95% of our water is reclaimed. I hope more California water districts consider reclaiming the water; it makes such a big difference.

    We tore out the tiny little patch of grass in our front yard two years ago and replaced it with a concrete path and a formal garden all on drip (and no sloping towards the street, just in case, since this yard sloped that way too). It's greener and definitely prettier, plus it provides food, and it uses less water, even with more plants. I saw an immediate reduction in my bill.

    I know some cities are saying 50 gallons per person per day with no outside watering. Last month we did 55 gallons per day in Vegas, including outside watering, but that's on 3 days a week drip. Come May we switch to 6 days a week drip and sprinklers if you have grass (most people don't, and faux grass can be found in several varieties at the local nursery) and no daytime watering. It's 97º today and we're just getting started in the heat, as I'm sure you are too. If you're only 2 days in summer I don't even know how agaves would make it; even here they need 3 days of drip.

    I hope you continue to find ways to cut and reuse what you have to meet your 36%.

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    1. Thank you for your comments, very interesting to hear about Las Vegas. I remember all the lawns there back in the 90s--crazy!

      Of course flushing reduced--just not something I want to think about or mention, ya know? All the plumbing is low-water, it was building code. We looked at front-loading washers; didn't like them. Our machine has sensors and adjusts the amount of water used.

      The glass-of-water thing at least where we go out to eat--restaurants just don't do that anymore. They stopped it in the last drought and never restarted it. You want water, you ask.

      Any food thing that needs rinsing I do in the garden--I've been doing that for years. Buckets in the shower, ditto, now "navy" showers. I get 1 minute of water. a line from the shower to the garden is something we're going to look at when we remodel the bathroom.

      Agaves here are fine with very minimal watering--4 minutes once a week. They are largely higher altitude plants in open mixed oak and pine forests in Mexico. There are only a handful of true desert species. We hover around 80F most of the summer, with these terrible heat waves an exception--just a lot more of them the past three years.

      Interesting to compare notes, thanks! :-)

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  11. I am sorry you had to remove your hydrangeas, they are such lovely shrubs and look beautiful when in flower.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. I was able to grow and enjoy the Hydrangeas for many years. That's something!

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  12. Uh oh...look out nurseries! I tend to agree on taking out things sooner than later, instead of trying to make baby steps. Baby steps give baby results, and are really token, feel-good gestures to avoid real issues...whether a city or a home garden.

    I too was not always into "xeriscape", because I kept seeing the same, weedy attempts at creating Claude Monet gardens in the plains and then the desert. I was glad to have design examples in other SW towns, using some of the plants I would see growing with little or no care and irrigation all over town. Didn't win me friends from the "colleagues" who should have been appreciative, but it made some clients happy, I have a decent portfolio, and now those who mocked it as "looking like Phoenix" try to do it!

    Sounds like that quote I forget now.

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    1. California is the new Arizona. Off to dig out more stuff.

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