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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

28 September 2015

Stuff in my yard: waterwise garden #1


plate flower with sun and moon
California is having a severe drought. As a result, county water providers have been providing funds off and on to reimburse people who rip out their lawns and either put in plastic grass (eek!) or xeriscape the space and use drip irrigation.

an extravagance: a ceramic bench
We were out of town last year when the weather was cool enough to put in gardens. But I started thinking about what we could do on our property, which is slightly over 1 acre and was at the time about half lawn and half desert.

This year, I started planning three gardens in earnest—a small Mexican-themed garden with very drought resistant native plants that would attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and birds; a large garden with paths, a bench, and drought-resistant plants that would attract wildlife and were either red or had red flowers; and a garden to occupy a 100-foot by 15-foot strip along the street that we can't see from the house.

succulents and ceramic squirrel
The more I studied the rules and requirements of the reimbursement program, the more Byzantine it seemed. When the program ran out of money, I actually felt relieved. It was still worthwhile to plant the gardens because they would reduce our water bill. Excited from planning and not willing to wait for fall, I plunged into killing the grass in the Mexican garden. (And some people say that studying archaeology is impractical!)

I finished the Mexican garden and most of the red garden before the heat started hitting the upper 90°s every day. The pictures above are some of the decorative elements. Below are more pictures. I'll post pix of the red garden when it's done.

If you are interested in making your own waterwise garden, feel free to contact me with questions. You can see my idea files for the three gardens at Pinterest: garden 1: Mexican; garden 2: red; and garden 3: curbside.

Bird bath I built from a hanging planter, the base of a birdbath whose top broke, an old saucer, a plant stake, two legs from a plastic bookcase, and some smooth rocks for short birds to stand on. The birdbath is anchored firmly in the ground, and although the top can be lifted off, I think I've made the whole thing Santa Ana wind–proof.
Sadly, in two months, I have not seen a single bird try it out.

Another plate flower. It contains five plates and bowls and a silvery center thing. I love plate flowers, and if they weren't so expensive, I would have put in many more.
I probably should go to junk stores and get old plates so I can make my own.

Thankfully, the birds do enjoy the fancy pole system for hanging feeders. This is right outside my office window so I can watch birds all day.

I don't know what the purpose of these ceramic balls is, but until the decorative grasses grow bigger, they do a good job of filling in the spaces between them attractively.

Each plant was tiny when it was put in, but after two months some are bushing out, and the milkweed is covered with eggs that I hope were laid by Monarch butterflies and not some creature that will eat all my plants.

2 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Fortunately it's not something we need to worry much about here.

Reshad Ahmadi said...

The Viral Site flowers and roses wallpapers