Does anything smell better than a summer stroll through lavender? It’s taken a learning curve for me to grow it—bright sunlight and the right kind of soil. It likes its own space, doesn’t like to be crowded into a pot or a flower bed. I guess you could say it doesn’t like to share. But what I’ve discovered is to prune, prune, prune. Deadhead all the brown stuff and do it quickly, otherwise the part that’s just bloomed and wilted will take over your entire plant(s). As for the soil, I was told to add in limestone or sand to let it drain, drain, drain. So don’t spend years making the same mistakes I made. With a little research you can come up with the right mix to grow lavender. Just remember it doesn’t like to be neglected. But when it blooms, the fragrance is well worth the fuss. And you can’t beat the purple color that invariably brightens up a spot where white daisies and hydrangeas thrive. If you’re hesitant to grow lavender, take the plunge. What used to be a failure in the garden, is now a summer staple for me. I love the aroma. For that alone, I make the extra effort.
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
~ Gertrude Jekyll
I envy people who live in other regions of the country who don’t have the drought conditions to deal with on a daily basis. It’s tough to grow anything dealing with water restrictions. Maybe that’s why I post so many pictures of gardens, dreaming mine could be this great.
All over the state of California the drought is taking its toll on the flora, leaving trees and shrubberies, flowers and plants, dying alongside roadways and hillsides.. The lack of water is stressing them out causing their thirsty condition to become vulnerable to attack by all kinds of insects, particularly beetles. The dried up remains causes fire dangers in areas that used to be known for their greenbelt, garden-like settings, their picturesque mountaintops, and now it pretty much looks like scorched earth. Forests are browning, fruit orchards are yielding less fruit, which will eventually have an impact on what we pay at the supermarket for our produce.
According to the U.S. Forest Service 12 million trees have died during the last year. I look around my neighborhood and there are dead and dying trees everywhere. The drought is a sad reality. Pray for rain. As for me, I’m thinking of holding a rain dance ceremony pretty soon.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Sometimes I think I need my head examined for trying to have a garden during a drought. Everything’s so brown and some days I feel like the stingy amount of drink I give the lettuce is a luxury. Lettuce is about all I have left. The lavender is struggling and so are my daisies. I follow the stringent guidelines of water restriction both inside and outside. We haven’t washed our cars in months. I’ve moved most of my regular plants indoors to keep them from frying in the blasts of August heat. But let’s face it, if California doesn’t get some relief soon, I’m not sure a garden is worth the effort.
To give you an idea of how bad things are, the trees located behind my house are dying…slowly. Pine, cypress, and the cottonwood that are located in what we used to refer to as the “greenbelt” are turning brown. The roots are searching for water that doesn’t come. The grass, once lush and green, has turned to what resembles straw.
I’ve always loved a garden setting. But here locally people are replacing their yards with rock, stone, or letting them go burnt brown naturally. I don’t judge. Whatever others feel they need to do for a yard during this drought is certainly understandable. Even though a few of the more elite are snubbing their noses at restrictions, we all wonder how long it will take to get rain. The media talks about some monster El Nino supposed to hit this winter. Cities are gearing up for torrential rain, floods, and they make evacuation plans and practice scenarios if mudslides occur. But for now, everything bakes. And we here in Southern California can only dream about a good downpour.
So wherever you are, if rain is in your forecast, enjoy it. Not everyone is that lucky. 🙂