Will It Rain Today?

gj_16JulyYes, actually, it will and has done so off and on for the last week. This in itself is a blessing. I have once again the unintended miniature pond I spoke about in my last blog post all the way back in September. Funny that the last blog post I managed to create was when we were having so much rain and here I am again writing when the rain is plentiful.

Prior to last week, it was not so plentiful and the idea for this blog post has been one that was formulated as I sat staring at my garden — thirsty, begging for water. Grass, non-native perennials, vegetables, etc. It does not help that my garden is sloped which makes watering a tricky task to say the least. That aside, I began to contemplate the very life force that made my garden….. a garden. WATER. I think constantly and by that I mean, several times a day every day about water. It is the life giving force on our planet and I become so exasperated when it is taken for granted. It seems some of our fellow travelers on this planet do not give a second thought when it comes to littering or what it means to have pure, clean water. So long as a faucet can be turned on and this precious liquid flows freely, there is not much more to think about or so it may seem.

As I was saying, I sat staring at my garden and I thought of the moral aspects of tending a flower garden. I do grow a few vegetables and herbs, it is true but nothing substantial and if I am being honest, these plants are not nearly as cared for as my non-edible plants. As such, my contemplative self realized I am using up precious water for mostly aesthetics. This plagues my conscience and it is something I must reconcile in some way. This growing season is just about half over so there is not much sense in changing everything now though it is tempting. Gears are grinding though and already I am formulating a plan to ease my conscience and my dependency on supplemental water.

First, I believe I should reverse my habits and focus on growing more vegetables and fruits. This way any water I use is for something substantial and life supporting. I know I can convert many of my planting areas for this purpose and with proper mulching, etc., I could use very little water that does not fall from the sky. I have a 70 gallon water barrel and when there is a good amount of rain, I ensure I am out there filling up five gallon buckets so I can almost double the amount of water I am saving. As I type, my barrel is full as are ten five gallon buckets along with eight three gallon watering cans. I have not had to run the sprinkler system for the week it has been raining and that is a blessing.

The cool temperatures that have brought this bounty of moisture will soon end and with it, my supplies of water will also run out. To top it off, in a week I will have to run the sprinklers again to keep that grass green. Oh yes, I am making strides there by trying to replace grass with varieties of clover. Interesting note here — once, in the not so distant past, lawns were PRIMARILY clover in arid areas (of which Colorado is definitely one of those areas). Then, folks started moving around and upon arrival to new destinations — that may or may not receive the same amount of moisture — they brought along their desire for grass lawns and so it began. I digress but will write more on that subject later.

I am sitting near the window as I create this entry and gazing out at the garden I am condemning. Thunder is rolling, small drops of water are falling from the sky and that beautiful cloudy diffused light is gently illuminating my creation. I do see some plants that would suffer in my quest to wean myself from supplemental irrigation but I am now realizing that I do have a lot of water smart plants. Let’s consider this entry a preface of a new evolutionary step in my garden. As days pass, I will monitor what does and does not do well with supplemental irrigation. Plants may have to be replaced but if I am half the gardener I think I am, I should be able to come up with ways to mulch and cultivate the earth so I can enjoy the beauty I so long for. The grass is a different animal altogether however and should my clover experiment not pan out, well, it has to go.

What are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear from you.

Until next time, blessings to you all and happy gardening!

And now some photos:

Cyanotype Pansies

Cyanotype Pansies

Penstemon Leaves in Sepia

Penstemon Leaves in Sepia

Spotlight on Geranium Flower

Spotlight on Geranium Flower

Elderberry Flowers

Elderberry Flowers

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