It is pretty bad out here, folks.
People seem to be using the drought as an excuse to GIVE UP. Clothed in the the dry, tattered, unwashed rags of self-righteousness (they only run their washing machines once a month), they zealously save water, and they let their yards go fallow. They preside over parched, dry earth. They walk around the neighborhood, chastising those who hand water their trees and tomato plants. They can hear a sprinkler turn one one minute past the morning irrigation cut-off time, and they stalk over and leave notes threatening to call the police. They are a grim lot, the Water Zombies- and they look upon anyone who decides to fight for some planted beauty during this drought as a traitor. We are too lush, too ripe, we ornamental gardeners. We are stealing water from future generations of humanity. We, ornamental gardeners, should hang our heads in shame. The Water Zombies want us to be dry and thirsty.
The reality is that we, the ornamental gardeners who have lived through drought before, have been planting xeric landscapes for decades. Our water use is already titrated. We plant a wide variety of drought adapted plants, we plant herbs and food, we keep our gardens tough and lean. We toss off the heat island effect, because our gardens are green and abundant, even in our dry climate. and we, the ornamental gardeners surviving this Droughtpocalypse know that we are stewards of some of the most important components of our city’s infrastructure. LA is already seeing its old, established trees dying from the overreaction and self righteousness of the grim Water Zombies, who have turned off all irrigation and are letting landscapes wither. We need our trees. Our trees need supplemental irrigation. Thanks to misinformation and misinterpretation of what native landscapes are, people are allowing their homes to become tinder-dry – huge fire hazards in what will no doubt be a frightening Santa Ana season, where our hot winds dry things out even further, and fires can easily rage out of control. Our native chaparral is a landscape that burns to refresh itself, but that is not a part of the romance of the native landscape that our city yards can indulge in. We need to irrigate. Sparingly, yes – but irrigate we MUST.
I’m not really afraid of the Water Zombies, mostly because they are too dehydrated to move very fast in this heat, but also because I’ve seen this behavior before. As soon as we start having regular rainfall (mind you, our regular rainfall is still precious little! Thirteen inches is our average!), they will re-sod their lawn and get back to the serious business of mowing the grass. No room for succulents or drought tolerant perennials, that’s too much nonsense – just precise lawn that can be easily shorn. I know the type. They aren’t that scary.
Or ARE THEY??????