Drought Garden Wide Shots

California slightly bested the 25% mandatory reduction in water use for June, saving 27%.  The local district, with a 36% mandatory reduction, met that requirement.  (This garden's reduction was quite a bit greater than 36%.)  District-by-district report here
The miracle July rain we got is showing.  Most plants are pushing out new foliage and flower buds.  The garden is somewhat bedraggled in spots, but better than expected. 


I'm somewhat surprised our district managed only a savings of 36%.  There are plenty of brown lawns in the neighborhood:
Neighbors are doing their part...
 Not quite all of them.
 Just quit doing this:

Back at home.  From above...dry fountain, roses perked up a little by the rain.
 ...the koi hide in the shade until the sun goes behind the house.
 Toasted, a little.

 The Syzygium hedge looks good.  It's getting laundry machine grey water



I believe the Agave americana 'Medio Picta Alba Aurea' is looking better with a drip line than it did getting sprinkler spray.  Bloom sized now, about 4' tall (120 cm), a little more than that wide.  

 There are plenty of 'Blue Glow' Agaves on the slope, just not large enough to show up in a wide shot, yet.  A rainy winter could really get them going.  I plan to add more of the Cordyline 'Festival Grass' along the top of the slope, when the weather cools down in October.  It looks far better (those two on the top right) than I expected.
 The Dymondia is doing well with less water.  The roses are managing.



 Big 'Hercules' has branched into three.  One branch faces outward from the house, the other two, parallel to the house.  No branch at this point is growing towards the house.  This is excellent placement.  (Nothing I did--Hercules decided that for himself)

Muddling through, onward through the drought to a wonderful rainy winter.  Or so we hope.  I can see rain clouds in the distance, but they and their rain won't reach here.  It's pouring buckets in Palmdale, more than 100 miles from here.


Wide shots are meme'd around the first of the month by Xericstyle.

Update:  we did get a shower.  I dashed out and put the barrels under the scuppers.  After it stopped, clouds of steam rose from the hot wet pavement. 
 

Comments

  1. Looking good despite the water rationing. Just shows the fine choices and changes you have made.

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    1. Learned a lot! The garden is my school.

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  2. Lovely to see wider shots of your garden.
    It is surprising to see the other garden looking so green when every where is is not. Maybe plants are more important to them than everything else and they no longer wash and to save their water.

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    1. Yes, maybe they stopped washing and doing laundry. Glad they don't live that close. ;^)

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  3. These wide shots of your garden really help to piece it together in my mind. It's looking really good, especially in light of the drought! Glad you got a shower and hope you continue to get precipitation!

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    1. Thanks--hopefully we have a drought-breaking several years of rain ahead.

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  4. Wow, such beauty despite the lack of rain. I am especially taken with your Agave americana 'Medio Picta Alba Aurea', I never seen that plant looking so gorgeous anywhere!

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    1. I wish it wouldn't offset quite so enthusiastically, but it's been a fine Agave.

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  5. Lucky you! You got a shower. We didn't. That's the nature of showers.

    I love to watch the "afternoon buildup". Twice yesterday huge cumulus clouds formed and dissapated. This weather type is good for the garden. It is sunny and moist.

    I want to thank you for posting these "wide shots". There are many, many examples of lovely PNW and Texan gardens to see for ideas. Yours Is one of the very few examples of appropriate southern California models I can find on the internet. Yours and KrisP's.

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    1. Rain envy--we've all got that these days. I was envious of Palmdale getting torrential rain for over an hour...how wonderful that must have been (mudslides and flooded streets excepted).

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  6. Your garden looks great, and the roses are doing amazingly well. I would expect the agaves to do great. I used to save my washing machine, bathtub, and dishwater greywater in San Diego too. At least you don't have masses of Canadian thistles getting tall and going to seed from all the nice rainwater during the winter and spring, not to mention all the dandelions, yellow clover and dock.

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    1. Your scary description of massive weeds makes the drought sound okay after all. Very few weeds the past few years here--and the snails and slugs have vanished also--a very good thing.

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  7. Your garden has such wonderful structure. I love seeing the wide shots. You're farther along than I am in changing out the thirsty for the less-thirsty plants. While some of mine are doing better than expected (especially in the front area where we built up the soil before planting when the lawn was removed), other areas are struggling. The Leucanthemum in the backyard are crispy while those in the front are doing fine so more work needs to be done in the soil in the back I think.

    I had the vague hope we'd get some rain last night but it was not to be. We missed out this time. My water district also missed it's mark, achieving only a 31.8% reduction against its 36% target but still better than I expected given that I've seen little done to reduce water use in my immediate area. At least our household also far exceeded our target and the savings is the (water) bank.

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    1. I like all the walls and terracing. This morning we saw the contractor that did the ones in the back and he said, "Hey! How's Macchu Picchu doing?"

      I was surprised our water company only just hit the mark. I've seen a lot of brown lawns in the neighborhood. Perhaps many people are letting the front lawn go but nothing else. My neighbor said the pool-repair-leak people were overwhelmed with work--everyone deciding to finally fix the leak in their pool instead of just paying a larger water bill. We just got a little rain, maybe three one hundredths of an inch, but it washed everything off again.

      You have sandy or rocky soil there, so close to the coast? Sandstone?

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  8. Talk about offsetting, I just put a Medio Picta about that size on the curb for free pickup. I really want to find some one gallon Yucca 'Bright Stars,' so let me know if you see any. That's what's on your slope, right? Everything looks great. That drought-defying garden just looks bizarre to my eyes now. Get with the program, people!

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    1. How did you get the beastie out to the curb? Must have been heavy. I'll keep my eyes open for 'Bright Star's. Seems t to me Upland on Tustin in Orange had some, but that was a few weeks ago.

      That green green lawn and all the annuals, it does look exotic now. Very '80s.

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  9. Your garden looks great in what I think of as the worst time of year. The rain really helped. If nothing else, it got rid of the dust so everything looks cleaner.

    I was thinking today how depressed this time of year makes me. Time to quit moping and look at the bright side: Fall is closer than it was last week :-).

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    1. The rain really did help. There's new growth popping out--a flower stem just emerged on Aloe variegata. Everything was so dusty. Some of the Agaves had a black layer of dust on them--all washed clean!!

      It's not as depressing as I thought it would be this year--and hope for a generous El Niño continues...hang in there--July is always the worst, and tomorrow is August, now shorter days mean less stress for the plants, even if the temperatures are higher, there is more relief at night. Or so I tell myself.

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  10. What you've achieved given the conditions is fabulous. I love that 5th shot down. The garden with lush lawn and bedding just looks obscene. I hope it stands out like a sore thumb in its neighbourhood.

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    1. That's one of my slopes, compared to yours much smaller. I thought it difficult, but seeing yours, mine is easy by comparison.

      The lush garden...takes time for people to change...sometimes a long time...many people in the neighborhood are conserving, more than I expected.

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  11. Your roses are rather drought resistant I think, your garden still looks good.

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    1. Not as many flowers, but the roses are mostly all well established--so they accept less water without drooping.

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  12. Now that you have saved even more water than necessary, will you get credit for that if there is another prime directive? Seems only fair.

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    1. No idea--but the immediate reward is saving money--last bill saved over $300! That can pay for a new plant or two.

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  13. Hello there .. I came over from Peter's blog to have a peek .. I am amazed you can grow as many plants that you do with such dry conditions. The agave are spectacular and having the roses must be such a treat .. it reminds me of southwest landscaping, I guess that is what it will come to eventually ? .. love the koi , they are beautiful !
    Joy from up north !

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    1. Who knows what climate change will bring--some are predicting a wetter Southern California, others, a drier. We can grow an amazing variety of plants here, and it is year round gardening--both a blessing and a curse, as there is always something to do--no winter rest.

      Peter's blog is so much fun, isn't it? If you have not seen blogger Gerhard's visit to Peter's garden, this will give you a whole new perspective: http://www.succulentsandmore.com/2015/07/love-letter-to-outlaw-garden-tacoma-wa.html

      Thanks for stopping by, and joy to you from down south! :)

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    2. Thank you so much for the link ! I truly have seen a totally new aspect of Peter's garden !
      Gerhard did a wonderful job with the pictures given the harsh light ... it is amazing !
      Joy

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    3. Gerhard takes excellent photos. Happy you enjoyed the link.

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  14. Hoov, your garden looks terrific! No one would ever know you're laboring under drought restrictions. I'm so glad you got rain - we got a deluge here in the foothills, and everything looks beautiful. I covet that big iron rose tuteur...

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    1. Thanks, Luisa. Deluge--that sounds good! Glad you got that!

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