by germinatrix | October 13th, 2009
I interrupt the regularly scheduled blog post … well, okay – we know I don’t schedule regular blog posts in the best of times, and I have been a little scattered in my posting as of late – but whatever … you know what I mean!
You in other, less drought-ridden parts of the country might be thinking something like “What’s the big deal, Germinatrix? Water from the sky – it happens everyday somewhere in the world …” Well- for your information, it hasn’t happened here in Los Angeles in any measurable amount since February. Think about this when you’re gardening; how would your habits as a gardener change if there was NO water falling from the sky and ALL the water your garden drank during the prime growing season was from supplemental irrigation?
Hopefully, you’d plant in a drought tolerant, unthirsty fashion. But no – many of my neighbors have lawns and hydrangeas and hybrid teas. One thing that happens to everyone here in SoCal is that we go mad when the rain falls, and today was no exception. I’m sure the people driving by my house an hour ago (I live on a pretty busy street) were wondering what the hell the sweaty woman (I’d just returned from Bikram Yoga) was doing running around in the rain taking pictures of wet plants with a silly grin on her face. Smiling like a proud Mama, like I was personally responsible for the rain!
After I took photos and got even wetter than I already was, I made my way to the side of my house and turned off my irrigation. Yes – I do have an automatic sprinkler system. I have to! For the first eight years of hardcore gardening I hand watered everything, and basically refused to travel (I can’t tell you how many housesitters SAID they watered, but what they really did was give the plants a cursory sprinkle the day we returned. I lost ALOT of plants during those years! And subsequently didn’t go anywhere for more than 2 days). When I realized that I was limiting myself and my garden, I invested in a good system. It was a wise choice. I only irrigate every third day, for approx 3 minutes tops per zone. I am free, and my garden isn’t over or under watered! But those years of hand watering were incredibly valuable – different plants respond to watering in different ways. For instance … I don’t know why, but I could never keep a Kangaroo Paw alive until I put in an automated system. I think there is something about regular, small amounts of water that seem to benefit Anigozanthus more than the customary deep watering done once in a blue moon. I wonder if others have noticed similar water quirkiness in their gardens? If so, do TELL!!!
The rain is now stopped, but tonight is supposed to be torrential … FUN! We have a standing seam metal roof, and the rain pounding down on it sounds like a drum line! I love it! I can’t wait to hear the first drum solo of the fall season…
I can’t get my hopes up, though – the rainy season isn’t here yet. October can get REALLY hot, and the Santa Anas have just started. But this little bit of water from the heavens sure did quench a thirst, for me as well as my garden. Even though the first rainy day of the season always gives me a terrible sinus headache, I am happy at seeing the earth soaking up the wetness, I am elated when I breath in deeply of the ozone-scented air, and I can barely keep my tongue off the concrete (licking wet sidewalks was a childhood compulsion that often rears it’s head. I control myself, but the impulse is there…)
Happy Rain Day, everybody – wherever you are, whatever the weather!