Just When I Was Gearing Up For A Xeriscape
Just when I was gearing up for a xeriscape, for abandoning all my roses, Japanese maples, lillies, hydrangeas and such for California natives and succulents, we get a lavish bumper crop of rain, a Seattle-like monsoonal measure, a skydump of the wet stuff, pH 7.0 (I measured it), exactly neutral, a soaking, penetrating, purifying treatment, washing all the various sodiums and carbonates out of our soil, deep soaking everything until the walls weep, the hills green, the reservoirs fill, until the powdery dry soil morphs into that exotic unknown substance known as "mud".
In short, Southern California has suddenly become mildewed, mossed, lichened, puddled, slicked; with the blonde hills now as emerald as Ireland, my thoughts turn from Echeveria rosettes to David Austin roses.
Some months ago, I dropped a found acorn into a pot full of dessicated and dead Dichondra 'Silver Falls'. I didn't want to throw it in the trash. I thought a dignified dry-out and decomposition in a pot full of dried roots and powdery potting soil was a more respectful end for an acorn than a trip into the garbage with the dog doo.
In October it began to rain.
Yesterday morning I saw a tiny oak tree peeking out from a pot of soggy potting soil stuffed full of fat, happy, thriving Dichondra 'Silver Falls'. I planted the oak in the ground, gently straightening out its little taproot, slightly bent by imprisonment in the dichondra pot.
And I gave the baby oak some precious saved rainwater, not that it needed it, because last night it poured rain yet again. I gave it also a protective screen against the rabbits, who would just nip it off at the base and leave it there uneaten.
So I planted my native oak, but I will also take a look at the David Austin catalogue, and keep my Echeverias dry lest their roots rot. The wise gardener goes with the flow, whether the flow is off, or as is the case this year, very much on.