Saturday, August 29, 2015

Getting Back To Business

 It's been a busy summer and I know I've been negligent in posting to my blog, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy in the gardens. This summer we had a wedding in the family, a big birthday bash in the garden in SJC, started to design our new home in Laguna in addition to Grandparent's Week and lots of birthdays and visits from family and friends. I can hardly believe that summer is almost over although the signs are showing outside in spite of the 90 degree temperatures. 

 We have been asked to cut back our water consumption 26% to help alleviate stress from the drought. I put in new sprinkler boxes in Laguna to help regulate the water better, and our last bill showed that we cut our water use down 67%. Needless to say, the garden doesn't look good and we have lost a lot of plants that preferred the wetter conditions, but that may have been inevitable. 

 In SJC we switched out sprinkler heads to more efficient ones but did not adjust the watering times and everything suffered due to not enough water at all. Then one of our drip systems got shut off accidentally and wasn't noticed until it was too late for many plants. Our water bill at this house is down more than 50% too. I am happy to be so water efficient, but I didn't intend to hit the community goals for everyone all by myself! 

 Many of the older established plant hung in there and are bouncing back with a little added water. They are predicting a lot of rain from the El Nino coming this winter. I hope we get the rain without too much damage. We could sure use it!

 I was forced to do what I tell other people not to do in their gardens. I planted a lot of plants in the middle of summer to enhance the gardens for a big garden party I had for my DH's birthday. I bent over backward with a lot of hand watering to keep those new additions to the garden alive while they got established and was able to hold on to most of them while we got the sprinkler issues worked out. Take note: do not fool around with your automatic sprinkler system in the summer!

Although I'm sharing some pictures that look good that I took this beautiful summer morning before the day heats up, I'll try to share (it kills me) the not-so-pretty scenes too over the next few weeks and the lessons I learned!


Pam/Digging said...

Your gardens still look lovely for taking such a hit on the watering. I hope you do get a wonderfully rainy winter. We had a lot of rain this spring in Texas, but we're back to hot and dry, dry, dry again. How quickly it turns! I look forward to seeing your keeping-it-real posts, which are so valuable for showing us what real gardening is all about.

RobinL said...

I've thought often of the gardeners there, and how difficult it must be to make those adjustments. I guess the trick is not to plant those thirsty plants to begin with, am I right? But who knew it would get this dry? Your lovely garden looks no worse for the wear, so fear not.

Sheila said...

As most garden bloggers know, the pictures are often prettier than the real picture! Of course I can't show all the plants that have died! We have been conscience of using drought tolerant plants for many years, plus once many of the foundation plants that provide structure to the garden are established, they are just plain hard to kill. And I also think that planting shade trees that offer a bit of relief and cool the whole area helps too.