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Some Like It Hot… And Dry

Articles: Some Like It Hot… And Dry

Along the road is a dry, gravelly bank where a variety of annuals and perennials make themselves at home. Photograph by RGT
Occasionally, outside pressures force us to re-evaluate the water use in our gardens. Barbara Flynn was surprised to learn how easily her established Seattle-area garden would thrive with little water.
It’s said that Seattleites don’t tan, they rust. Some years are certainly wet, but recently we have had so little rainfall that we have had water restrictions applied. In 2001, we were asked to cut our water consumption by twenty-five percent. The price of water was raised dramatically resulting in bills in excess of $1,500 for a two-month period. Ouch! Previously, I had always watered my garden either by hand or with oscillating sprinklers when the plants seemed to need it; with the new restrictions, I decided to give supplemental water only to container plantings. The rest of our quarter-acre garden would have to get by on what nature provided.

The first fatalities were two rhododendrons and a Ceanothus ‘Puget Blue’. The astounding fact is that the rest of the plants in my garden have...

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