Saturday, August 2, 2008

Beer for the Lawn and Whiskey for the Roses.

Okay. The street we live on is steep. Double the grade posted on the Cajon Pass. There is nothing unusual for morning walkers headed up the hill to pause for breath when they reach our place. On hot August mornings, sometimes their heads jerk towards where we live. Not just because roses and agapanthus in full bloom is glorious to behold. They are wondering if they really smell what they think they do. On a day I fertilize, for about an hour, a light odor of alcohol wafts in the breeze. No, we haven’t been drinking. The garden has.
For the lawn, beer is the beverage of choice. Cola is the mixer. One cup of each, chased with ½ cup apple juice, lemon scented liquid dish soap and ammonia are poured into the base of a hose-end sprayer. The container is topped off with water. The lawn is pleased that I enjoy passing a little time with the best summer garden chore: watering.
Whiskey is for the roses. We were given a very fine bottle for one anniversary. My husband saw me eyeing it.
“No,” he commanded.
“Community property state!” I retorted.
I didn’t care too much what he did with his half of the bottle. But my half was for the roses. To make a terrific tonic to tote, fill a bucket with a gallon of tea splashed with 2 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide and a small handful of Epsom salts. Kick it up with about a quarter cup of whiskey. A good sized squirt of baby shampoo makes this daisy daiquiri go down smoothly. It doesn’t matter if this is shaken or stirred. Just pour.
If you are interested in a concocting a bevy of beverages to create a more gorgeous garden on a budget, Jerry Baker of PBS fame has a series of books on garden tips & tonics. Any of the series is a bartender’s guide for the garden using items that linger in most of our homes.
Mixing up these concoctions, you will learn working in the garden is like working in the kitchen. Follow a recipe a few times. You will have the confidence to strike out on your own with what you find in the cabinets. Just remember: we live in a hot climate. Watch how you spice it up. Too heavy a hand with strong ingredients can lead to an upset digestive system. Especially in the summer, half- strength
solutions is often recommended.
Like all true plantaholics, even through the hottest days of summer, I will need to get a fix. With standard summer temperatures withering even established plants, where the spade sinks in, succulents will be planted. There are lots of darling diminutives, all of which are not just light drinkers. They “hold it” well. In the event of a fire, these miniature living water balloons will slow the progress of the flames.

Save money by being smart. Supervisor Don Knabe recently announced the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a rebate program for the purchase of water-saving devices. Go to the Be Water Wise site and find out about the program, eligible products and how to apply for the rebate. A quick review found these potential garden savings- Smart Weather-Based Sprinkler Controllers - $150, Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles - $4 each and drip irrigation - $50. Here’s the direct hotlink-
This story first appeared in the Diamond Bar Windmill in August 2008 edition without photographs. Thank you to the DBIA and Editor Mina Ynzunza for their continued support.
The daquiri drink photograph is from Wikipedia.


Constance said...

Your plants look beautiful, so clearly the beer and whisky options you've chosen do better on them than they do in human tummies :)

Oregon Sue said...

whodda thought! garden booze. amazing. ;0)