Monday, November 2, 2015

What A Difference A Little Rain Can Make....

We've been in a drought for so long I'd forgotten what a difference rain can make with the yard. Having been under watering restrictions for the last three years, in the throes of a horrid drought, we were beginning to think we should switch to Xeriscaping. We lost a total of 7 trees and endless amounts of landscaping plants. I should have taken pictures of the carnage but it was just too depressing. And so the adventure began to find the right plants to work for us. This picture was taken standing on our front porch on August 7th of this year.

Even though we slowly and methodically planted ornamental grasses and other drought resistant plants, nothing seemed to really take hold and flourish. Still, we planted away hoping something might someday take root enough to last. At least a year. But with water rationing at 2 days per week, triple digit heat, and no rain, severe winter ice and snow storms... it just wasn't happening.

Thankfully, this year, we have received flooding amounts of rain since early spring. It doesn't mean we're off the water rationing. The City says we'll never go off water rationing again. Water is too precious in our part of the world and like ours, many wells have gone dry, at which point you have to wait for the City Works to lay a new line for what was once watered by your water well. For us that meant the entire front and back yards. We had to wait 12 weeks which means we lost a lot of what we'd previously planted. We tried to take it all in stride but we lost trees too. It's been devastating.

Thankfully, Mother Nature occasionally blesses us with massive amounts of rain. In two months (August and September) our front half-circle bed has tripled in size. This year she is my new best friend...

Even some of the ornamental grasses we thought were long gone dead, are back. To think I almost had our yard man remove them, but here came a rainy late summer and autumn and I love the results. Perhaps the larger grasses are from 2014 summer planting. I never have a plan in mind because you can never predict which ones will survive the brutal seasons. It also depends on what is available at local nurseries. I tell our yard guy to plant the new ones in the holes of the formerly living ones but he never listens. He just plants a new one beside the one that appears to be dead. Helter Skelter. However, now I'm thinking he might be on to something. Hmm.

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