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Rosaliene’s Succulent Garden – Los Angeles – Southern California – August 21, 2022

Eighty-one days have passed since emergency drought restrictions went into effect in Southern California. In an August 16th Press Release, Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) that supplies our neighborhood with water, announced that discussions are in progress regarding the effort of the Colorado Basin States to develop “an aggressive but realistic plan to reduce demands” on the Colorado River by 2 to 4 million acre-feet. The MWD imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies.

“As these discussions continue, we urgently call on everyone who relies on Colorado River water, including communities across Southern California, to prepare for reduced supplies from this source, permanently,” Adel Hagekhalil said. “This is not simply a drought that will end, allowing reservoir levels to recover on their own – this is a drying of the Colorado River Basin. We are going to have to live with less. Working together, we know we can meet the challenge.” (Emphasis mine.)

So far, we have received no new directives from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) regarding any further reduction in water allocation of about 80 gallons per person per day. Meanwhile, I have found ways of saving and reusing domestic usage for watering my small vegetable garden. Caring for my succulent and other ornamental plants remains a challenge.

Beginning on June 1, 2022, I reduced my outdoor garden water use on Sundays (as directed) by over fifty percent, amounting to an estimated fifty gallons. Not all the succulents are doing well with the once-a-week watering by the gardener. To my surprise, the largest Pencil or Fire Stick plant partially collapsed in July, followed by a cactus plant in August. It hurt to cut them back. I have read that collapse occurs after over-watering which is not the case here. Do succulent plants suffer from heat stroke?

Given that we will have to adapt to living with less water, I must come to terms with our new reality here in The City of Angels. On Saturday, August 13th, I began the painful process of uprooting those plants that have been struggling for some time now. (Note the four empty plant pots in the captioned photo.) I estimate another two to three weekends to complete the task. Adapt or suffer the consequences. I guess that also applies to the human species.

All is not bleak. The succulents that flower in the summer bring joy with their added color and amazing design. Plants never cease to amaze me with their resilience and beauty.