wings and things

Letting the plants die

on November 30, 2012

At the risk of horrifying gardeners everywhere, Ming and I have made the decision to let anything that cannot survive this summer without water, die. Why, you ask? Well, firstly we don’t have any reticulation on this 5-acre back yard; secondly, every time we turn the hose on to water anything, the bore pump kicks in and the electricity bill skyrockets; and thirdly, I am NOT keen on gardening!

Most of the plants and trees here (camellias, flame trees, willows and palms) are so old that their roots are very deep so they will survive and of course all of the native trees will survive – the gums, wattles and whatever those other trees at the back are. Most of the fruit trees – oranges, avocado and pear trees haven’t properly fruited for years but they still look nice I guess.

Similarly, we are also getting rid of all the potplants because the pots are broken and cracked, most of the plants are dead anyway and it’s bad enough having so much inside clutter without all this outside clutter. Anthony was the one with the green thumb, not me, and not Ming.

This has not been an easy decision because the ancient rose trees that line the driveway are pretty special but for any of you who know what a typical Australian summer is like, the watering of these roses is going to be an enormous job and expense.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer. Bring it on!

56 responses to “Letting the plants die

  1. Oh dear! Julie. You have to be careful what you say. You’re getting rid of your potplants? I have to assume it’s how they say it in Australia. But in Canada if you say you have potplants, that means you’re growing marijuana. I think what you meant to say is that you’re getting rid of your potted plants. Then again…maybe you do mean marijuana. 😉

  2. camsgranny says:

    I can totally relate to the gardening aspect, all’s I have to do is look at a plant and it shrivels up. I can kill a cactus at 10 paces without even trying. Some people have green thumbs and some of us….well….let’s just say I understand…

  3. Definitely a way to keep the sanity. Shame about the rose trees, though.

  4. terry1954 says:

    I can understand getting rid of dead plants, how it could be a hard decision. It was a part of Ants. I totally get it. As for me? I don’t mind a few flowers here and there, but that is it. I am getting too old to tend to the outdoors and the indoors

  5. Trisha says:

    As much as I love plants, I understand. I recently tossed a potted azalea out into the cold because I just don’t have the energy to keep the thing watered and the dead leaves picked up. I feel guilty but not enough to bring it back in before the frost kills it!

  6. In some places, those potplants can earn you a lot of cash. 😉

    Sorry, don’t mean to make light of a tough decision. Sounds like what you’ve done is for the best. I’m not keen on gardening either. I tend to kill green living things. I wish I didn’t, but thumb is black.

  7. When there’s lots of stuff to tend to some things have to drop off the list! Who knows, maybe lots of stuff will survive…

  8. I hear you. I live in super dry, super sunny San Diego and water is extremely expensive here. I only grow things I’m going to eat or pick drought resistant plants that don’t need so much water in the summer. I invested in a couple of rose trees because I wanted a few flowers to cut and have in the house, and I have a geranium that won’t die no matter what, but that’s it for flowers.

    I’m glad you make these decisions for your yard. You’ve taken a big burden off your shoulders, I’m sure.

  9. FlaHam says:

    Julie, having been to Australia once, and loving it, I understand letting those plants go. Even if the plants were the other POT i wouldn’t have any use for them, I outgrew that 35 yrs ago. — Take care, Bill

  10. sbcallahan says:

    good for you! cut unnecessary stress and drain on resources where ever you can!

  11. bulldogsturf says:

    Can’t agree with you more… not only is electricity expensive but water as well when you live in the city… pot plants… potted plants… loved the comment relating to this, we call them Pot plants as well…. must admit it did give me a smile…

  12. I find watering and gardening quite meditative, but have a tiny one here..and the expense of water/electricity with yours would lead me to the same decision.
    Read your disclaimer post first so cracked up at your ‘potplants’ – it was ALL the potplants that made me laugh – seems you’re quite prolific ha ha ha but hey fellow aussie here I knew what you meant 😉

  13. pixilated2 says:

    Julie, I used to be such a gardener when I was in California. I have been trying here, but most of the time I feel thwarted in my efforts. So when you say you are going to stop watering and let the plants fend for themselves, there is a little part of me that cringes deep inside, but I get it. ~Lynda

  14. kdkh says:

    So, you’re going native! Or returning to native. Nothing wrong with that, and considered to be responsible conservation of precious resources. It’s all about simplifying your life. Good idea; go for it.

  15. We just about manage to keep our veg garden watered and understand your decision. Here, the more you water, the more the weeds grow and take over 😦

  16. victoriaaphotography says:

    I’d certainly let all the ‘potplants die – water’s so scarce in midsummer and if you and Ming don’t have the interest, why keep them. (clear out all the potted plants to!).

    As kdkh says…..”It’s all about simplifying your life” – I’ve been cutting down and cutting out all the non-essentials in the last couple of years. It’s very liberating Letting Go all the “Stuff”

    Letting go of the non-essentials gives you the time to engage more fully in what’s truly important in your life.

  17. I am still laughing…. we wouldn’t say ‘potplants’ here for fear of being arrested. That was fun to read while my eyes were wide… I was thinking ‘no, not potplants!’ I would do the same to save on the electric bill… here, we call them ‘potted plants’. Isn’t it amazing how words change our thoughts to something else? :)))))))))) I love how we all say things in different ways.

  18. I think you have made the right decision. Yes, it will be hard at first, but something has to go and better it’s plants which are not thriving than your health!

  19. yellowlancer says:

    I do love gardening but I’m struggling with keeping up the water, too. We’ve had two really dry months and summer hasn’t even started 😦 We can only do so much – throw out any guilt with the pot plants, it’s a good decision 🙂

  20. mrs fringe says:

    I had the same “potplant” thought, lol!
    But seriously, we all prioritize, and do what we can. I think making the decision to let the gardening and watering go is a healthy one, your plate is more than full. If you change your mind, no one will hold you to your current decision. Take care of you!

  21. cecilia says:

    Once your sunflowers are established they will grow, just use a watering can once a day until they are big enough. I HATE plants in pots and avoid them at all costs, too much upkeep.. have a lovely warm day!! c

  22. why doesn’t your summer begin on the 21st like our winter does?

  23. annotating60 says:

    The mention of the rose trees inspired me and I have written a poem to you and would like to send it to you as opposed to using it as a post without your permission. I feel an attachment to you that is slight but strong in the way some fishing line is. I am including my email address and if you mail me. I will send you back the poem.>KB

  24. Judith Post says:

    I used to love working in my flower beds, and we had a big garden and I canned and froze. The garden was the first thing to go. And now, I keep my flower beds barely respectable. Interests change or fizzle. But hope you have a lovely summer.

  25. janechese says:

    i am happy that you are enjoying the advent of summer.The days are getting shorter by 2-3 minutes daily but solstice is coming…then it will be officially winter and the days will get longer. I always found it fascinating about the direction that the water runs down the drain Here it is counter-clockwise. is it true that when you pull the plug the water drains clockwise? Or have I been conned?

  26. shoreacres says:

    I have a friend who has a perfect attitude toward gardening. She goes to the garden shop and buys one of everything that appeals. Then, she puts them all in the back yard. Once a week or so, she hoses them down. Whatever has survived after a couple of weeks or so, she goes and buys more of, figuring that if she hasn’t killed the original plants with her benign neglect, their brothers and sisters will do just fine, too.

  27. Save your sanity–although it would be hard to let the roses go…

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