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Variations on a Theme of Water

Articles: Variations on a Theme of Water

Spring seemed to last forever this year. Cool temperatures encouraged bulbs, herbaceous perennials, and trees alike to extend their flowering season—with little rain in California to mar the blossoms. Most agreed it was a glorious spring, though late snows in the Pacific Northwest were more than a little upsetting.

The downside is that it was also one of the driest springs on record over much of the West Coast (though not in the Northwest). By mid-May, mandatory water rationing had been announced by some of the water districts in California, particularly on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay. Water availability has become a more serious issue for Southern California gardeners following restrictions placed last year on the pumping of water from the Sacramento/San Juaquin River Delta, out of concern for an endangered species of fish. In early June 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a drought emergency for California.

A particularly hot and dry 2007 resulted in the extreme fires that swept Southern California, in a year that also saw a severe freeze in regions of San Diego County that rarely experience such cold weather. (See Nan Sterman’s article in this issue...

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

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