Isn’t the purpose of drought-resistant landscaping to do less work? Less water, less maintenance, leas fuss, less everything? I was sold on this concept as the lazy woman’s garden. So why am I wielding a kitchen knife in my pajamas, while I crawl on my hands and knees at dusk in one of the planters that flank the front of my house, poking additional holes in a drip-line so that the plants that supposedly need little water can get the right amount of water and not wither and die like the four plants before them? This is not my idea of low-maintenance. And me with a kitchen knife, poking the ground while muttering obscenities under my breath as I curse the landscaper for installing this system that underwaters plants, is probably not my neighbors’ idea of a sane and well-balanced next door resident, but yet here we are.
Naturally I have no clue what I am doing yet am fully committed to the task at hand. I don’t really know how drip-lines operate but surmise that water drips out of the holes so the more holes I poke in the hose, the more water will come out. I have no concept of water pressure being mysteriously regulated within those drip-lines, so suffice it to say I am remarkably surprised when I step out of the house the next morning to discover that my front yard has been transformed into the Bellagio fountains, minus the synchronized music.
Geysers of water are exploding out of the dozens of holes I have so effectively poked in the drip-line, watering my car, the roof, the side of the house, the driveway, and passing birds and airplanes. I have basically set up a water fountain for God himself. I have no earthly idea what to do with this spectacle, so as I do with many things that I don’t want to deal with in my life, I pretend they don’t exist and leave to go to work.
The week of this DIY mishap Michael happened to be in the Philippines (little surprise there since he tempers my Crazy and when he’s not here, Crazy runs free) so imagine his surprise when he stepped out of his Uber on the way back from the airport at the exact time the drip-line timer went off and was treated to his very own water show? Visually and physically. It was a multidimensional experience (watch out Cirque du Soleil’s O, I’m coming for you!) I don’t think you’d be shocked to discover that I did not get a warm hug and a kiss when I opened the front door to find a soaking fiancé.
You might be scratching your head, wondering how I knew that the plants weren’t getting enough water. I flexed my deduction skills, which are loosely based in reality, and applied the same principles of human water consumption to plant water consumption. I need a lot of water to survive and so must the plants. Never mind the fact that not all plants are created equal and these are drought-resistant plants consisting of succulents and decorative prairie grasses. That. Don’t. Need. Much. Water.
No, instead of this logical course of reasoning, I was convinced that the ground was too dry and plants were dying as a result and the landscaper who created my drought-resistant oasis screwed up. And I proceeded to call him and when he didn’t pick up, leave a vehement voicemail berating him for his incompetence. I blame the wine for that stellar display of class and dignity. And also for the drip-line massacre. But “Doing Stupid Shit After Consuming Multiple Glasses of Wine” is not the topic of this tale, so we’ll carry on.
When the gardener came the next week for his weekly round of maintenance, I was actually home and pounced on him for answers. Before I could get my first sentence out, he asked me why I continued to overwater the plants. Because it was very hard for him to save them if they were being waterboarded daily. My front yard desert oasis was turning into a swamp and the plants were being drowned to death by my own ignorant hand. The lesson learned here is that I am very ignorant but very confident. And that’s a deadly combination, especially when wine is added to the equation.