sneak peek: autumn in Northern California

Filoli SW Terrace

Filoli SW Terrace to poolFiloli hydrangeasFiloli autumnal colorFiloli Garden HouseFiloli Molineux RoseFiloli pool + clock towerA mid-week visit to the nearby gardens of Filoli provided just the dose of autumn I’ve been craving. With slightly cooler temperatures, occasional mists and dark moody sky, it finally felt less like summer and more like autumn (though truth be told, I really wanted to jump into that pool). Check back later for more images from my visit!



Echeveria Blue Curls 6

I woke up last night to the sound of rain. That hasn’t happened in such a long time I thought I might be dreaming, so I got out of bed, put on my robe, went outside and found that it was indeed raining – in the softest, most gentle, most welcome way possible. Instantly, I began moving all 36 of my potted plants (along with several buckets) out to where they’d catch those precious drops. It felt absolutely wonderful!

Echeveria Blue Curls 2 Echeveria Blue Curls 4 Echeveria Blue Curls 5Without significant winter rainfall and increased snowpack in the high Sierra, there won’t be any relief from the severe drought we’re experiencing here in California. Reservoir levels are dropping rapidly and unless we all become more serious about conserving water, the tap will run dry. Even if you don’t live in California, please consider making the following changes to help conserve water.

1. Fix all leaking fixtures and make sure to turn off the tap completely. According to IBM, a faucet that drips just once per second wastes 27,000 gallons of water per year!

2. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. According to the EPA, the average faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute … meaning this one small change can easily save eight gallons of water per person, per day.

3. If you have a dishwasher, only run full loads and don’t wash dishes by hand.

4. Water your garden correctly. Water deeply but less frequently and minimize evaporation by watering early in the morning when temperatures are cooler and the wind isn’t as strong. Adding a layer of organic mulch to the surface of your planting beds will insulate the soil and minimize weed growth.

5. If you are in the process of landscaping your yard, please consider switching to native or low water use plants. If at all possible, ditch the lawn (or at least reduce its size) and install drip irrigation.

And finally, if you live in California, please cover your pool to minimize evaporation and for goodness sake, please stop watering your lawn!

For even more tips, check out this website for 100 ways to conserve water.

And as always, thanks for reading.