p90116Much of California is chaparral. Much of what is not chaparral is full blown desert. Some coastal climates gets quite a bit of rain; and some climates up in the Sierra Nevada are among the snowiest places in America. Generally though, the most populous and most agriculturally productive parts of California do not get much water to spare.
I certainly do not mean to say that we do not get enough water from rain and snow. We get what the region has always gotten longer than anyone can remember. Those who do not want to live in chaparral or desert need not live in California.
If there seems to be insufficient water for all of us to share, it is merely because there are too many people wanting too much of it, and too many who profit from controlling and selling it to them. Some of us conserve water and landscape accordingly. Others have no problem with vast overly irrigated lawns.
As a horticulturist who grows horticultural commodities, I use what I must for my work. I would prefer others to conserve water in home gardening, but can not complain if they choose not to. If they do not mind paying for excessive consumption of water, that is their prerogative. If rationing becomes necessary, and they do not want to pay fines, their expensive landscapes will be damaged or ruined while mine will survive.
However, it is difficult to not be disgusted with some of the waste I observe in some landscapes. One of the landscape companies that I ‘tried’ to work for years ago regularly watered almost all of their landscapes so excessively that trees succumbed to soil saturation. We then charged significantly to remove the dead or dying trees that we were hired to take care of; hence my ‘Horridculture’ articles on Wednesdays.
We have been getting quite a bit of rain here recently, and are expecting more rain through the next several days. The cloudy blue sky in the background of these pictures was the most blue sky we had seen in quite a while, and it lasted for only a few hours. The lawn in the park here is too swampy to walk on. Just in case there is a slight possibility that there is a small scrap of it that is not sufficiently swampy, it is getting watered generously.
I know mistakes like this happen, and that those who maintain this particular park are seriously overworked and understaffed. I am annoyed about this anyway. With all the modern technology available, why does the irrigation system not know that it is raining so much? If the irrigation system lacks the sort of technology that allows it to monitor the weather, why has no one told it that it is raining so much? If it can not be contacted by telephone, why does no one who know what the irrigation schedule is stop by to disable the system, or just close valves?! Okay, so I know they are understaffed, so I can not complain about it too much.
Nor should I complain about the parking lot getting watered. I know how easy it is for a sprinkler to get knocked out of adjustment. Besides, the windows are rolled up.
However, I am now a bit more concerned about the weather. Too much rain can cause flooding and mudslides. I already know what the forecast is; and now that the car got washed, the rain could get disastrous!p90116+

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12 thoughts on “Horridculture – Car Wash

  1. Ugh! This happens all the time here. I even see lawn sprinklers on in the rain. And while no one could argue that the East has an issue with water the way California does, we did just come out of a 2 and a half year drought last year. This year, thank goodness, rain was plentiful–so I saw this stupidity even more than usual.

    Karla

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    1. What makes it worse is that so-called landscape professionals brag about conserving water, and watering ‘less’ (although there never seems to be a standard with with to compare ‘less’). There is even a bedding plant grower here who advertises that their produce is grown with ‘less’ water. Using ‘less’ water entails using less bedding plants or none at all. I worked for a landscape company that planted drought tolerant plants, and then killed them by watering them too much, and then charged the clients to remove and replace them with more drought tolerant plants . . . that would do the same. Meanwhile, those who tend to their own gardens let their lawns die.

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  2. It’s an issue here in my Texas town, too. Heck, it’s an issue even at my apartment complex. I’ve finally decided that some of the misdirected streams are due to sprinkler heads that are rearranged by mowers. And occasionally one will be broken, and something akin to Old Faithful spurts happily into the sky. But entire systems watering lawns after days of rain is a sight to behold. Someone simply isn’t paying attention.

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    1. I know how expensive landscape services are, and if I were a client paying for such services, as well as the water bill, as well as all the damages caused by the landscape services, I would be furious.

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    1. We have that technology. My colleague here can call any of our irrigation systems on his telephone and ask them how they are responding to the current weather conditions. They know more about the weather and soil moisture conditions that we do, and can make their own adjustments accordingly. We can of course disable the system if necessary as well. I don’t expect everyone to use such technology, but I do expect so-called landscape professionals to be more attentive to their irrigation than most are.

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  3. I’m with you on this one. How anyone would want to grow a traditional lawn in CA is beyond my comprehension. And, on the overworked/understaffed notion… well, right plant, right place would definitely reduce that burden some. We humans make things so complicated, don’t we?

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    1. I do not mind lawns where they get used, such as in a park or athletic field. However, there are way too many of them where they get no use. It is such a waste. So much of the landscaping here is. Landscapers claim to be concerned about conserving water only because it is what the clients want to hear, but no one really cares.

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