Monday, February 1, 2010

Drought Tolerant Planting

Because water is at such a premium here--- being on a well in a drought-prone state--- my landscaping efforts focus primarily on efficient water use. Or more accurately, I try to plant flora that's able to get by on little or no water.

On top of that I try to plant stuff my bees will turn into honey. So, I installed a garden yesterday that consisted of False Heather; Rosemary ("Irene," a low-growing bunching version); Lavender (I primarily use French Lavender, a type called "Serenity,"); a type of Aloe we call "Mother-in-Law Tongue; and a couple variety of prickly pear cacti.

The beauty of all this selection is that it's easy to start new plants with cuttings; or in the case of the aloe, just taking some "babies" from a mother plant.

Obviously, the cacti are of no real interest to my bees, but they love the rosemary, lavender and heather. I've got that kind of stuff all over the ranch, consolidated into pockets where I can efficiently water it. On top of that, the chaparral hillsides are erupting with ceonothus blooms, so the bees are getting plenty of nectar. The beauty of SoCal is that spring sometimes starts in February, especially when we get some winter rain. That can mean an early, and abundant, honey crop!