In Saturday’s Los Angeles Time there they were addressing the issue of the likely hood that the drought will continue and all indications that this will be longest – hence they focused on some natives that can help mitigate the situation and still give us pleasure in our gardens. Perhaps these can even be translated into some public areas especially with what seems to be issues with many eucalyptus trees which we all know are fire hazards – remember Portugal, Spain and almost yearly in Australia.
The plants they indicated favorably include (1) Coast Live Oak which are considered natives in our part of Orange County as well; (2) Lemon Berry is fire resistant and curbs erosion and they gave a recipe to make a tea from the berries—tastes like lemonade I guess. (3) Chaparral Yucca—probably don’t see many of these in our area but they are beautiful in bloom. The list continues but most of them I am sure few of us will plant in our gardens. Speaking of planting— so many plants are not as thirsty as others and it only takes a moment to ask the local nursery which ones they are. Some bloom all year, others have their seasons. I did not do this intentionally but this year my flowers are blooming in rotation—and so I am having a nice display every month of different flowers since January.
Then we can talk about watering and using water wisely. Recently I spoke to a new resident with young children. She was teaching her little ones to pour any water that they do not want to drink into a bucket under the sink and they can help water plants on their deck. They take short showers now or the two boys share a bath. They collect the water as it comes out of the faucet until it comes out the right temperature. We also talked about a tankless which I have been using since 1999. Told her how my water bills and gas bills have dropped (yes my electric bills have gone up but very slightly). When they play with their squirt toys they play near the plants and the water ends up watering the plants too. I was relieved to hear that young folks are concerned about our water situation. Especially when walking around town and I see water running down streets as people wash their cars, hosing driveways etc. without paying attention.
Don’t forget the Laguna Beach County Water District is determined that we maintain our title of Water Wise City again. Let’s do it.
Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach