Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When love needs neglect

It's a hard concept; I'm used to caring for things. But I've just bought some new plants, California natives all, and all the research I've done says that they must not be put on the drip irrigation system. As any gardener knows, watering a plant is considered crucial. It's how we plant-mothers show our love; our babies are never allowed to dry out. They might shrivel up and die, and we'd feel horrible about that.

Enter the irrigation system; I love my irrigation system. It remembers, even when I forget. It doesn't get all caught up in something else and wake up, days later, to realize that there is no milk in the refrigerator and the plants haven't been watered; nope, it turns itself on and off, and all I have to do is check on things every now and again, adjusting times and making repairs when called for.

But now these plants are gumming up the works. They're not supposed to get supplemental watering; and, in particular, they are said to hate being dripped upon. It makes sense; they grow naturally here, and we only get rain in the winter. No one goes up in the hills with a hosepipe in the summer to attend to their needs; obviously, they have come to terms with the concept of not getting any water for months on end.

I, sadly, have not. I feel terrible about not providing them with a drip. I will watch them carefully, at least when I remember to do so; I can't promise that I won't wave a hose at them occasionally, at least during their first year in my garden. It's one thing to read something; it's quite another to accept it as true.

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