Plastic, Gardens and Drought

The replacement of lawn with gravel to save a rain shadow valley from drought is based on the principle of laying plastic down over the living earth and smothering it so that its natural creative energy is killed.Or so it seems. After only two or three years, the earth reasserts herself and begins to bury the stones.
Any decorative appeal, which was gained at great expense, is soon lost.

Things begin to look like hell.

What a lot of work it is to kill the earth. Sometimes it’s just easier to give up and grow a garden.

Dang, but a few years will nix that, too. Whew.
Best to give that up to and relax by the lake. A cool brewsky. Kids playing in the sand. Corn on the cob. Nature, you know? Nice. Here’s the corn, coming along.

Oh, crap. Of course, you don’t have to kill the earth. You can use plastic to bring her to life, too. Water, you know.

A society gardens in its own image. That’s the thing. If you want to know your country, look to its gardens.


Car Culture in the Okanagan

There’s no water in this well. It’s art.

P2000280In the interest of environmental goodness, to create art like this the land must first be covered with a continuous sheet of woven black plastic mesh, so that nothing grows from the soil beneath. It’s true that a rocky landscape like this catches dust, which turns to mud, and collects seeds, which turn to weeds …

P2000278… which grow on top of the continuous petroleum sheath, but, hey, that’s what weedkillers are for, right? The planet, however, wants to do this …P1970786… and this …P1990068 … and ultimately this (below). Don’t look at the moss swallowing this grassland rock as growing on top of the soil. It is the soil. It will soon cover the stone. crust

Life is the expression of Earth’s identity. The ultimate goal of “rockscaping” is not to turn back the environmental clock 4 billion years, to the time before life spilled around the planet, or to rebury petroleum in layers, as it was before it was pumped up in the first place, or to artfully wrap the planet in oil, but this:



Houses like these are million dollar artworks. This one has an exceptional amount of rock. Most rockscaping, though, looks more like this:


(look at that rose — after one season it’s already making a break for it)

… and this …


…and this …


It’s the ultimate expression of car culture: landscaping looking like the gravel shoulder of a highway, where, you know, you can park and get out and admire the view, and where houses are situated, anyway. Nice. Practical. Living in the “now”. Solid Canadian values, all of them.