Could AB 1881 be made retroactive?

Over at On The Public Record, there's some freewheeling conceptual thoughts about the impending drought situation in California.  In comments, Emily Green suggests that Assembly Bill 1881 be made retroactive. Not having a particularly good memory, I went and looked it up.  AB 1881, signed into law in 2006, mostly has to do with outdoor water use efficiency and it mandated that by Dec 31, 2010, that all municipalities have an ordinance on their books that was at least as strict as a suggested model law.  Most new and rehabilitated landscapes are now subject to this water efficient landscape ordinance. Public landscapes and private development projects including developer-installed single family and multi-family residential landscapes with at least 2500 sq. ft. of landscape area are subject as well.  Homeowner provided landscaping at single family and multi-family homes are subject to the [State or local standards] if the landscape area is at least 5000 sq. ft.  As it turns out, I blogged about it earlier, mostly with a hopeful thought that it would make a difference, as I recall.

There's already retroactive component for landscapes larger than 1 acre, which I suppose applies to public parks and the landed gentry, but the language says that they "may" be subject to a water audit, not that it is compulsory.  Also, existing landscapes get additional latitude with regard to water used - about a 10% bump up from AB1881 standards for new construction with regards to the evapotranspiration rate and a [presumably very] relaxed set of water use criteria dating from 1992. 

I have discovered a proof of how truly remarkable the water savings could be if it were made retroactive which the margins of this post are too small to contain.* Perhaps we need wait only three centuries for a complete explanation.


Rain 0.10"; season total 5.55"

Not a rainy day in the 10 day forecast and a measly tenth of an inch yesterday.
27 Feb 2012  0.10"


Rooftop garden

Downtown LA atop the Union Rescue Mission: A walled space with a small garden in pots and raised planters.

Looking out beyond the wall:

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone

Giant Chain Fern and Yerba Buena doing well

They seem happy in their new home. There's been some new growth in the short time since I last took photos.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Naomi Klein on climate change public policy

Here's an article on climate change policy and politics that appeared in the November 28th edition of The Nation. My friend Mark drew it to my attention recently. It has a clear synthesis of current and (recent) past politics related to global warming as well as a manifesto for green action. Given the time between the article's publication and now, it should be clear that I don't follow global warming policy discussion on a regular basis. Perhaps because of this, much of the article's reasoning seemed fresh to me and I found it insightful. Indeed, if you ask the Heartlanders [climate change deniers], climate change makes some kind of left-wing revolution virtually inevitable, which is precisely why they are so determined to deny its reality. Perhaps we should listen to their theories more closely—they might just understand something the left still doesn’t get.... [Close to 4000 words snipped out] In short, climate change supercharges the pre-existing case for virtually every progressive demand on the books, binding them into a coherent agenda based on a clear scientific imperative.... [hundreds more words]

Capitalism vs. the Climate

Rain 0.29"; season total 5.45"

We had two storms through that didn't have much impact:

0.01" 13 Feb
0.28" 15 Feb

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Margaret's Mallow v 2.0

Margaret's Mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora) has had an occasional appearance here on the blog.  Back in December she wrote that the original had died and she had culled the seedlings to a select few:

Below is a photo of my new mallows that sprung up after the original died.  I took this photo last month (November 2011).  As you can see, the ground is littered with mini mallows.  I let about 10 grow to 4 ft, before I chose one to grow.  I put some in the front yard to act as a fence.  I also gave several away. 
BTW, I didn't add any water at all to these plants.  Crazy how fast this grows. -Margaret

Mother Nature's back yard

The Friends of the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve are installing a water-wise native plant garden at the Willows Preserve.  This one has an interesting twist since it's clear that they are building a demonstration back yard garden that could be implemented in the surrounding community, complete with back yard patio / shade structure.  Their blog has lots of photos of the infrastructure going in and now they are ready to plant.  I'm pretty sure they won't have any evil lawn.

There's an upcoming planting event that you can find out about by emailing Connie Vadheim or sending a message through their blog's contact.


Potting Woodwardia and Satureja

Here's how I planted Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata) and Yerba Buena (Satureja douglasii) using a new (to me) potting mix.

The main ingredients of my potting soil mix: red lava rock, potting soil, and builders sand.

The builders sand has gravel up to about 1/2" in length and down to 1/16" or slightly under. The mix ratio was one bag of lava, one bag of builders sand and one bag of potting soil for a volume ratio of 1:1:2.  Not shown is the Osmocote slow release fertilizer that I added in lesser amounts than I thought the directions called for.

Here's what the mix looked like on the blade of my spade - the gravel and lava are not as apparent as one might think given that they make up 50% of the mix.


Rain 0.05"; season total 5.16"

Not much rain from the storm that passed through yesterday, 0.05" in my back yard.

A new take on potting soil

There's a Goldilocks Principle for everything, including potted plants.  Realizing this, I have a new (for me) philosophy for potting plants.  I needed one since I had a dangerously cavalier attitude to the potting soil I used: Recycled soil from other potted plants?  OK.  Running low?  Add some garden soil.  Fertilizer?  Yes or No, but probably not at the right times.