A Walk Through the Garden: The Drought Addition

It’s hard gardening in a drought.

It’s equally hard writing a blog about it without sounding all gloom and doom. (I’m saving my gloom and doom posts for Halloween).

Since we’ve all had it up to here with the drought, the heat, the save-the-air alerts and the raging fires here in California, writing about it  seems as drab as my former lawn.


Bougainvillea love the dry heat. Lush lawns are a thing of the past.

Today, I’m shaking things up a bit with a garden video show and tell.

I created the video tour using my mobile phone with my family’s help. Mike followed me around the garden and took video, and my son, Mac edited the clips for the final production.

Instead of tidying up before the guests arrive, I present to you my unadulterated, much-loved, brown around the edges garden.

Without further ado, Gardening Nirvana: The Drought Addition

22 thoughts on “A Walk Through the Garden: The Drought Addition

  1. What a wonderful video. Maybe next year we will have some summer rain. You need some winter rain at least. It’s a beautiful area even without the grass. Cats are happy there. It’s like you made the space just for them. 🙂 Thank you for sharing and I loved your sign by the door.


  2. You know, it’s interesting how there’s the dried up brown stuff and the green volunteer stuff and how you’ve just focused on letting things happen. I love the bougainvillea. And that nature finds a way to accomplish what it will. Slinky’s cat castle is quite the bit of real estate as well.


  3. I feel your drought pain and I hope you all find sweet relief soon!! When we had the worst of the worst in 2011, people walked around like zombies. I called the whole drought depression “the glump.” If it’s any consolation, your yard still looks better than mine. 🙂


  4. What a wonderful garden tour, Alys! We must look beyond the grass this summer. I am so relieved to see how well your trees are doing, in spite of the dreadful drought. There is so much lush, green beauty in your garden! The very first time I visited your blog, I watched you carrying water from the bathtub to save your trees. You are doing such a wonderful job, Alys! It’s such fun to hear your garden plans. I just love dreaming garden dreams! Hope you will take us on a garden tour again during each season. Sending gentle rains and cool breezes from the Midwest to San Jose! ♡


  5. I’m thinking back to last year and seeing the green grass with the stained glass and even a happy Mike sitting reading his newspaper at the table……….. The drought has made its mark for sure! It is amazing to see how the volunteers will still rally and try their best to produce something for you – or the squirrels. It’s a long road isn’t it Alys, but I’m sure once the natives are in and settled the garden will spring back to life again – it will just be with a different accent 🙂 I love the brightly coloured bird that stands on the other side of the door to Slinky’s castle [Orlando would be green with envy at that kitty palace!] I’m sure you can add lots of colour with such pieces strategically placed. And the bougainvillea is beautiful too.

    You are meeting the challenge of changed climatic conditions head on and saving the planet too – good work at Gardening Nirvana!! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That was fantastic! Thank you. I have loved all the photos you have posted, and now the video puts them all into place. Gardening in a drought is hard work. You have to rethink so many cherished garden thoughts (like lawn) and concentrate on those plants that will survive. Having said that, I am impressed on how good your garden is looking. Those fruit trees are very lush. I love the pockets of potted plants.

    Congrats to the rest of the crew — human and cat! They have done an excellent job. 🙂


    • Thank you, Anne. I like having the long view of peoples homes and gardens, so I thought this would be a nice addition to my blog. Can you believe what we can do with a phone these days? Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would one day be recording video in my back yard with a phone the size of a deck of cards. Further, when my son was two, I couldn’t fathom that I would one day ask him to edit video clips, insert music and even give me advice on what to cut. The first ending was a shot of me wincing in the direction of the sun. LOL.

      It’s been an adjustment learning to garden in a whole new way, but it’s also brought with it a broader education on the merits, sources and politics behind fresh water.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 2 people

    • PS Both fruit trees are dong well in part due to the drip irrigation. The Magnolia trees in the front garden are both suffering. I’m putting all my waste water toward those trees (bath water, dishwater waste, even half-consumed cups of clear tea. Nothing goes to waste.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is amazing how you have to save every little bit of water, and be really stingy about what goes down the drain. During our long drought I wondered whether there was enough water flowing through the sewerage system to help that work effectively


    • It is remarkable to see what flourishes without any rain. More and more, I’m rethinking each corner of the garden. Our local nurseries haven’t completely caught up with the new trends so the selection of natives and drought-tolerant plants needs to improve. Right now they have a huge selection of succulents, when in fact here are hundreds of native plants we could be planting instead.


  7. Oh, I did enjoy this video tour, thank you for making the (huge) effort to put it together and show us your outdoor space. It’s also lovely to ‘meet’ you and put a personality to the blogger. I like to see pictures of fellow bloggers so thought it only fair to change my gravatar last week to an up to date image of myself. Thanks again, I loved it:)


    • I’m delighted to see the real you in your Gravatar. Lovely!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video. I’ve had to do some letting go to allow myself face time on camera, but it’s a good practice for loving yourself and being in the moment.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you Alys, I enjoyed that tour immensely.
    I had a strong feeling from that video that there had been a real process of letting go of what was or wanted and allowing the garden to “be”.
    I can see your hard work in it all though….. you are an inspiration in what you have achieved thus far.
    The tomatoes were amazing! Those guys look like they are planning on sticking round, hope they get a little tastier for you.

    Slinky looked totally besotted with you at the end of the clip, I can understand why… having a castle outside! How grand!


  9. I love, love, loved seeing YOU! And the fact that this video was a family affair! The music, the live shots of the kittys, the still shots at the end (love the shadows on the pumpkin) … just wonderful! I really enjoyed this, Alys.


    • Thank so much, Laurie. You’ve put a big smile on my face. It was fun for us all to get involved.

      Do you want to know something funny? I was thinking of you and your amazing photography when I took that shot of the pumpkin in the shadows. You’ve made me so much more aware of the possibilities behind the camera.


  10. Wait a California minute! I watched this ages ago and thought I left a message. I remember thinking, “she’s so cute”. Then I must have fallen softly to sleep with a smile on my face and didn’t say jello. So, Jello! LOL
    I’m getting so excited! Only a week now till I descend on you and your family. Gah! Ready or not hear I come. I bought some new sandals today and got some cold hard cash for kicking around!
    It was fun to watch your tour again. With the kitties hanging out. I hope Mouse will sleep with me 😀 I’m sorry you can’t have your yard exactly the way you wish right now but honestly, I thought it was looking great given your water situation. I’ve heard of 4’clocks but never see them here. Are they an annual for you? I’ve cleaned up the garden beds but left the patio railing planters blooming because they are still going strong. That can change overnight though. One frost and they’re a goner. It’s such a different mode of gardening here. Everything goes 100 miles and hour for 3 months, then we shutter up the shed and wash all the tools. Weird hey? Seems like a lot of expense for a short time but it’s so pretty all summer. Off I go to make dinner, ta ta sweet cheeks! xoxox K


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