This Is What Allied Gardens Does Not Want To Have Happening –
2015 is going to be a hot year throughout California. More discussions will be held on what role do businesses and individuals play in water conservation. The photo above is what we do not want to have happening. There are still new lawns being planted and old lawns being maintained. Water going into the street is against current water conservation mandates. This yard has now controlled its runoff during recent watering schemes.
Respecting – track in progress from “Sonic Succulents” – 2:03
An Inadvertent Creek In San Diego’s Old Town State Park –
But water still reaches the streets, schools are a prime offender as are state, county and city parks. The government is not listening to itself, and when it is confronted, the common answer is it is a budget issue. Anders called the water department in 2010 to report an empty house that had water flowing from the backyard into the street. He was told he needed to know the water account number or the specific address; “the second house on the left from the corner of so and so, with visible runoff,” was not enough information to send someone to check on the situation. In 2014, Anders reported to the water department that the irrigation system at an abandoned city library was sending water into the street, two houses away from his 2010 call. There was an immediate response from the water department. The operator thanked Anders for his awareness. We can all do a better job conserving what we need to conserve and it starts with observation.
Using Solar Energy For Weeding –
Allied Gardens is about using what is available. The rocks, several plants and the black plastic seen above came from Denver’s backyard. The black plastic, which will remain in place for a couple of months, cooks and kills the weeds underneath replacing human labor and chemical weed killers. Torn plastic, which in most cases would be heading to a landfill, became a working tool.
A Year In The Life of An Allied Gardens’ Front Yard –
Another side to this story is Allied Gardens creates an opportunity for neighbors to connect. The connection comes when one is working in the garden and people passing by stop to comment. A friendly neighborhood couple stopped by to admire the front yard transformation while the Dirt Brothers were working one afternoon. Twenty minutes later she returned to donate some prize cuttings from their garden and a few days later he returned to select an admired cutting to take home. Allied Gardens had come full circle. Denver and Anders learned that guy who wears colorful shirts and rides by on a black bicycle had illustrated several album covers for rock bands including the Grateful Dead. Let us celebrate the grateful living, all the living from a molecular level to the expanding universe. Let us celebrate Allied Gardens.
Up Close and Personal In A Garden For Its Times –
Allied Gardens as a garden, this succulent / cactus village, has a bright future ahead of it.
Allied Gardens as a film project has the potential to reach a much larger audience than those that pass by here on their daily routines.
Shadows In The Mirror – track in progress from “Sonic Succulents” – 2:44
Avoid Watering By Planting What Grows On Its Own –
There are 20 different cactus / succulents, plus two geraniums, making music in Allied Gardens’ three terraces. Twelve are shown above. They are all stars that can make do with little or no irrigation. Dirt is the stage. Dirt is alive with organisms. Dirt is vital.
We need more dirt.
State Tightens Clamp On Water Restrictions –
The March 18, 2015 U-T San Diego newspaper headline on the front page, just below the fold was “State tightens clamp on water restrictions – Limits extended, new ones added to confront 4-year-old drought.” Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the state water board, said she was sorry that the state had to this because ” we’re the only state that’s ever done statewide conservation regulations because urban water districts did not step up.” She further stated that they were ”not ringing the alarms bells that the situation warrants.” She has nothing to be sorry about. California is the only state with almost 39 million people in a region that normally is drier than wetter. The San Diego Coastkeeper organization is quoted as saying ” permanent, deeper changes are needed as hotter, drier conditions are expected to be the new normal in California.” Anders has always thought using the term drought was misleading. Hotter and drier was normal through the centuries except for 1900 to 2000. So new normal, old normal, normal is what is happening. Drought implies an exception and that the rule will return. The region needs to understand longer trends, the normals, that have far exceeded any human’s life experience. Last October the state moved from Stage 1 “drought” watch conditions to Stage 2 “drought alert” restrictions. We do not need new restrictions. We need new fundamentals: new behaviors, not temporary behaviors but permanent behaviors. If one wants to live in the Southwest, and have food grown in California, then one needs to forget about landscaping that requires irrigation. Keep in mind there is no mention above of “climate change”, only the concept of returning to the way it was for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. There is a monsoon in the room and it is the burning of fossil fuels.
We Can Only Deal With What We Can Deal With –
The cactus on the left above is the Peruvian Apple Cactus that came from a mature cactus in Escondido, regenerated in Serra Mesa and now this limb calls Allied Gardens home. Allied Gardens is a celebration of what $75 and 18 hours of labor, including long water breaks, spread across six afternoons in fall and winter of 2014 – 15. None of this is rocket science. Allied Gardens is about one person wanting to do something with what he has and asking an old friend for help. Denver and Anders were in agreement that water is important, in great demand and we need to allocate water for the greatest good. Watering lawns is not a life-saving use of water. Allied Gardens is a story that will be repeated, in one form or another, across Southern California because these are the stories we need to be living to be in sync with available resources. Habitats are where we live. Allied Gardens and Allied Gardens are both habitats.
There Is One Certain Thing Cactus / Succulents Do –
Cactus / succulents grow, and grow and… This monument – welcome sign is at the southern foot of Allied Gardens as one comes off of Interstate Highway 8. The $22,000,000 award-winning, critically-praised Allied Gardens development could have had in 1955 a welcoming marker with a small lawn and tree instead of the cactus / succulents. This was the dream – promise that Allied Gardens offered buyers. It would be safe to say many of the first occupants came from properties that did have lawns or trees. Lawns and trees were an acquired behavior not a geographical resource. In the future, there will be a need to cull the cactus / succulent in front of this sign. And where will those cuttings go? The Dirt Brothers suggest spreading the excess low-water-need wealth throughout Allied Gardens. A cactus / succulent for every house. Rebuild the future one neighborhood at a time, one yard at a time, one plant at a time.
3-26-15, All Is Well and New Elements Are Arriving –
There are now 23 cactus / succulents in the Allied Gardens demonstration garden which is actually a movie location documenting these interesting plants that manage with little water, in many cases all they need is morning condensation. Allied Gardens has become an arid oasis in a sea of lawns. Elements will continue to be added and the tiers / terraces will change shape as gravity and mass have their way with all things made by man. It all comes down to chemistry, physics, resulting natures and habitats. We are not alone.
Succulents Are Taken Away and Succulents Are Given Back –
The border treatment between yards is now receiving succulents from the
front yard that have been replaced by new varieties. We are not alone
and we, and all we do, are works in progress.
Next Allied Gardens chapter After the Water Headlines
Previous Allied Gardens chapter Limiting Water Runoff
Listen to Sonic Succulents from this film project
Watch A Garden For Its Times video
One Small Garden For Allied Gardens. One Giant Step Into The Future –
The United Nations recently announced that within 15 years the demand for water will exceed replenishment by at least a 40 percent shortfall due to climate change and accelerated use of the precious commodity to feed a surging global population.
The report stated “The fact is, there is enough water to meet the world’s needs, but not without dramatically changing the way water is used, managed and shared.”
Other headlines from Earth Watch, March 30, 2015, included the Gulf Stream, which makes Northern Europe milder, is the weakest it has been in the last 1,000 years… Record low amounts of Arctic ice due to an unusual jet stream position and ice maximums peaked 15 days earlier than normal… Fish living between 2,000 feet and one mile in the Bay of Biscay are showing evidence of human-caused pollution spreading across European and North American waters… Huge firestorms rage across parts of southern Chile and are wiping out rare plant species and threatening wildlife… Locally, March 2015 was the 17th month in a row that has had above normal temperatures. A weather service forecaster was quoted, “winter totally skipped us this year.” March 2015 had an average of 66.6 degrees, 7.2 degrees above normal and eclipsing the record high average set in 1978 of 64.3 degrees. Great challenges for mankind are here and more are over the horizon.
Allied Gardens is a drop in the bucket but it is a drop.
April 1, 2015… California Governor Jerry Brown ordered officials Wednesday to impose statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history as surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in 65 years of record-keeping. Headlines, now in bold type above the front page fold, shout about this being a historic drought. What if this is merely a return to normal? The California snow pack has been below 50% for the past four years with 2014 being 25% of average and a thirst-inducing 5% in 2015. The mandatory water restrictions focus on metropolitan water districts. California agriculture has already been impacted in recent times with hundreds of thousands of farmland acres left fallow. This is the same land that produces much of the fruits, vegetables and nuts found in stores across the country. We need to eat. The time has arrived for the cities to sacrifice and tighten their water belts. Change, when embraced with body and mind, can be exciting.
©2015 Anders Tomlinson, Denver Clay and SonicAtomics, all rights reserved.