Saturday, September 09, 2006

Taking responsibility

We've been in a drought for the last two summers, with the wet (every weekend it rained!) February not helping a bit in the long term. The area lakes are dry, watering restrictions are the norm and not the exception, and I can't think of a county without a burn ban.

And it's our fault. How do I know this? We landscaped.

June 2005 we decided the time had come to update the old look. The house was built in 1918 and I wouldn't have been to surprised to learn that some of the landscaping harkened to that date. It was at least 35 years old and we'd met the gardener who remembered planting the roses in the 50s. So in comes the landscaper and out goes the old look.

The front beds were widened and outlined with white rock. Gone were the huge nandinas and bushes of unknown name. Although fearing they wouldn't survive, we transplanted the roses to the backyard. (They are still with us, although struggling.) Gone too was the dichotomy that was our east-facing front curb appeal: the north side of the walk did not match in any way, shape, or form the south. (I now know why. Read on.) We became balanced, except for two items of interest, a small Japanese lacy maple (something like that) and a bush. A little rain and we'd be set.

Except there was no water, at least not unless we supplied it. And we did. Copiously. Made no difference. Come the fall, the landscaper comes back, tsk-tsks over our not watering (I rushed to defend us), and replants the dead and dying on the south side. The north side items have survived and if not thrived, are at least saved from being plucked up and replaced. Why have they survived? The pecan tree shades them and the angle of the house keeps them out of the afternoon sun. I should have figured that out myself but with different plants originally there, I hadn't. I have new respect for the misshapen tree.

I felt bad for all the little half-alive flora being carted away. I was willing to give them a chance, let them come back from the roots. But no, they had to go. The place had to look better. And it did in the winter rains.

Then it warmed up and, not taking a page from our lesson book, we landscaped some more, the back and side yards this time.

Hate to say it, but this year's lack of rain was even worse. And the temperatures--over 40 days above 100. Then there was the watering restriction in August, just recently lifted. What's a flower bed to do but die?

And some of it has. But with the exception of 2, well maybe 3 or 4, very dead bushes, I'm going to hold out and not let the rest be plucked up. I'm going to root for the roots, so to speak. Maybe by not planting anything new again, I can stave off the third year of drought, or at least blame it on somebody else's ill-timed landscaping.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home