Mid summer in this Northern California valley is HOT and DRY. And with a drought, we are expected to reduce water consumption significantly or confront fines from the water service for excessive usage. My home is on a 0.25 acre lot, which is not terribly large but is big enough; the lawns alone are quite demanding, and the death of my backyard elm tree last year has eliminated some helpful shade. The backyard lawn has some brown patches.
During the Spring, inspired by the beautiful pictures of @mmonyte’s garden, I had spent many hours weeding, digging and planting, and with some faithfulness had watered my new plantings by hand, lacking an automated system in some of the yard borders. He and I exchanged emails, as I asked for advice, and shared photos as a weekly progress report during the early stages of plant establishment.
Our two-week trip to Europe coincided with a heat wave in this area, and I returned to find that my negligence had been repaid in kind as my clematis and bearberries departed this dimension for a more salubrious climate.
This morning, as I weeded, then hand-watered my few potted plants and the unsprinklered borders, I was filled with a sort of grief for the loss. The hopes for lush beauty, and the creation of a space in which I might entertain, or escape for moments of nourishing solitude have suffered a serious blow. Still, as with every discouragement in my life the grief is followed by fresh hopes, new plans, and dreams of something new and different.