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Southern California's
Most Pressing Problem

This year's California Landscape Contractors Association's Landscape Industry Show offered, in addition to the usual garden art, nursery stock, turf equipment, fertilizer and lighting, a number of interesting booths and products designed specifically to deal with Southern California's single most pressing problem – water, or lack there of!

A Smiling Vendor

"Chinatown" or
How Water Came To LA

One of my very favorite films is "Chinatown," not only because it's brilliantly written, acted and directed, but because it's based on fact, albeit somewhat fictionalized, and one of its principal characters is LA itself.

It describes how William Mulholland – like the Drive but with his name changed, of course – and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power orchestrated bringing water via an aqueduct from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to LA. It took 5 years to build, employed 5,000 workers and if it had not come to pass LA would never have grown to what it is today.

But that Aqueduct and the two that followed can no longer provide the water necessary to keep LA vital. But as there are no more rivers to tap or wells to dig, if something is not done to curtail the use of water throughout Southern California, this entire region could wind up like the Owens Valley after their water was diverted – a devastated eco system.

Save Money – Save Water – SoCal Water Smart

In the interest of moving both residential and commercial customers to more efficient water delivery systems, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is offering rebates for weather-based Irrigation controllers and rotating nozzles. It reports that over 95,000 households have participated in contributing to significant water savings.

If you'd like to know more about the program please go to their updated Rebate Information web-page or contact the Garden Of Eva to set up an appointment to review your irrigation system and learn how you might benefit from their rebate.

It's only available until April 30, 2011, so why not take advantage of it to save money and water?

Water Management Solutions

There are two approaches when it comes to the use of water, use it more efficiently and create alternative sources. When combined they can save you money and be immensely effective in cutting down on the use of our potable water resources.

Intelligent Irrigation

Here is a list of the water reduction and long-term money saving products currently available. When used in combination, the water and financial savings become even greater.

  • Rotary Nozzles - (15-45% water savings)
  • High Efficiency Nozzles (30% water savings)
  • Above Ground Landscape Drip (30-50% less water than sprinklers)
  • Sub-Surface Capillary Irrigation Systems (50% water savings)
  • Wireless Water Sensors & Control Valves (60% water savings) The sensors analyze soil moisture and temperature and determine when and how long to water.
Cysterns
Rain & Graywater Collection

These are two sources of water that are free and available to every home owner.

Rainwater

Rainwater collection is as old a civilization itself and if you have a roof and gutters can be easily and inexpensively installed. And for every square-foot of roof and inch of rain, .623 gallons of water can be collected. The products on the market provide the following:

  • Collect rainwater from downspouts
  • Clean and filter rainwater by removing most of the debris and contaminants
  • Connect to a majority of hoses for immediate use in the garden or for collection in rain barrels and cisterns.
Graywater

Graywater is water that comes from baths, showers, hand basins and washing machines only — not the toilet or the dishwasher.

If a graywater system is to be employed, it is crucial to use all-natural, biodegradable soaps whose ingredients do not harm plants. Most powdered detergents, and some liquid detergents, are sodium-based, which can inhibit seed-germination and destroy the structure of clay soils. The products on the market do the following:

  • Connect to the pipes leading from the bathtub, shower and hand basin
  • Filter the water of contaminants
  • Connect to collection barrels and cisterns.

Complimentary Consultation

If you’re interested in learning more about saving money by saving water, now is the time to give us a call (323-461-6556) or email us and we’ll be pleased to meet and give your garden and irrigation system a thorough check up.

"When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."

Benjamin Franklin (1705-1790)

Check Out Our Blog
“A Gardener's Thoughts & Fancies”

That Holiday Poinsettia ... Grow It or Throw It?

Red Poinsettia

If you’re like me, you hate to throw a living plant away. But do you really want to deal with those 5 Poinsettias you bought at Trader Joes to brighten up your living room? I mean, they were only a couple of bucks … right? But still …

It’s that “but still” that gets me in trouble every time. I guess it’s the thrifty Swede in me that hates to throw perfectly good things – particularly perfectly good – living things – away. So ...

Continue reading . . .

Plant Of The Month

Bougainvillea

Now a Southern California staple, the bougainvillea is a native of South America. It can be used as a house plant, in hanging baskets, kept small by bonsai technique (see picture above), or used in the garden along fence lines, on walls, as a hedge or standing alone.

It has a deep root system and once established requires little water. If over watered, it will not flower and may lose leaves or even die from root decay.

It is excellent on hills to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion (see Garden Answer below).

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Gardening Question?

I live on a steep hill and with all the rain I'm concerned about a potential mudslide. The hillside below our house is covered in weeds and the time has come to plant it with something that will keep it stabilized. What is the best ground cover?

Answer

When planting a bank for the purpose of stabilization, it’s best to plant a mix of deeper-rooted larger plants along with shorter-rooted ground covers that will help hold the ground as the larger plants are getting going.

Examples of shorter rooted ground covers are gazania or arctotis. Then you could dot such plants as shrubby bougainvilleas all over the bank, along with something like ceonothus ‘Concha’. Bougainvilleas as one of the better plants for such an area. They grab deeply into the soil and once established they become very drought-resistant.

Lantana montevidensis is hugely colorful with lavender flowers almost year round and also very drought-resistant, easy to grow and good on banks.

Finally consider blue plumbago. For a gang busters combination on a bank and drought-resistant year-round color, plan yellow trailing gazanias to cover the ground, then use an equal number of the the following plants to send down deep roots and hold the soil: Bougainvillea ‘La Jolla’, Plumbago ‘Royal Robe’, and Lantana ‘Radiation’.


Have a gardening question? Send us an email and let us know what it is.

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