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Browning of the Greensward

Articles: Browning of the Greensward

California poppies and dwarf baccharis combined with drought tolerant trees and shrubs produce a lush green and colorful effect appropriate for a California landscape. This scene is in the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden but could be easily adapted for corporate or private landscapes. Photographs by the author.
The author reviews our attitudes to landscape design and their origins in a paradisean fantasy, and suggests their alignment with the realities of climate.
This crisis — the drought — has exemplified two seemingly contradictory characteristics of human nature. The first is the incredible slowness with which we accept change. The second is the absurd speed with which we come to accept abnormal conditions. For years — decades, even a century we have known that California has potential water problems and yet our life styles have not changed to reflect that fact. In fact the per capita water consumption has increased with the help of the technology of irrigation and the California Water Project, supplied by the bountiful Sierras.

But now we have been cut off at the source. The rains haven’t come and all...

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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