A garden update

I used to post about my gardening, back when I had a garden. Since we moved last year, there hasn’t been much action in that area. Most of our back yard is in pavers, which is low-maintenance and good in the drought, but rather boring. We moved south and farther away from water, so it’s noticeably hotter and drier, and it’s been an adjustment. We’ve got a small plot on one side which would be good for veggies, but it’s infested with mint and as much as we’ve tried we just haven’t gotten rid of all of it. (There’s a circle in hell, I’m convinced, for those who plant mint in the ground in regions where it doesn’t freeze regularly in the winter. It took me 5+ years to get rid of the bulk of it at our old place, and new shoots would still pop up on occasion. If you want to grow mint, please keep it in a pot. End PSA.)

In our new place, there isn’t really a front porch, more like a set of steps up to a stoop and the door. I’d bought a couple of painted pots and put them on the stoop with primroses this winter. Primroses are perennials in this climate, but they don’t like it that hot or dry, so they usually look their best in winter and eek through summer. Our front door faces west and so gets all of the afternoon sun, with the added ‘bonus’ of the concrete steps and stucco house reflecting back all the light and heat. The primroses just weren’t going to make it through the summer there, no matter how often I watered them, so I pulled them out into other containers so they could live indoors for the season. I ordered a set of self-watering pot reservoirs to retrofit the pots, and bought some lantana to put in them. Lantana loves the heat and shouldn’t go too crazy sending out shoots as long as it’s in a pot. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, we’ve been adjusting to the drought restrictions by limiting our watering on the small grass area we do have in the front. The spouse would like to get rid of all the grass, but it probably doesn’t make sense to do it until the fall, when there will be a bit of rain again (fingers crossed!) and whatever plants we put in will have an easier time getting established. Our city was placed in the ‘reduce 30%’ band under the statewide restrictions. Thankfully they’re basing that on a city-wide average adjusted by house size, so if you have already been quite frugal you’re not being punished for your foresight. The official ‘we’ll fine you if you go over’ period doesn’t start until June 15th, so we won’t know until later in the summer how we’re doing. I read a news article recently that said that the Bay Area in general had reduced water usage 19% this spring compared to last year, which is promising, especially considering that last year we were already in a drought and lots of people were already voluntarily reducing water usage.

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