florida gardening irrigation

Bad Irrigation

We are enduring a typical April drought in south Florida. It’s hot, it’s dry and rainy season usually rolls in after Mother’s day in May. Until then we gardeners are painfully conscious of water conservation.

That’s why we get ticked-off by blatant water wasters. Yes, there are obvious scofflaws that water their lawns every night but at least their plants benefit. The greatest water wasters are people (and companies) who are clueless about their broken, inefficient sprinklers.

The first photographs are in a parking lot of a mall in Ft. Myers where the tell-tale ghost of a river of wasted water pumped all night from a broken head.

The second series of pictures are from the parking lot of a shopping center in Naples where the irrigation was spurting at 3:00 in the afternoon. Even if the system was effective, this is the most inefficient time of day to water: Nearly half of irrigation water can be lost from evaporation in mid-day. But, the clogged and bent heads were raining fresh water onto the pavement, draining, not onto shrub beds but rolling into the storm drain.

Botanical Art

Grapevine Murals

A blank canvas is inspirational. And so is a blank wall. These two walls that flank the baptismal pool at our church just call out for artwork. We have used these walls to hang silk flowers and now use this space for seasonal banners. I imagined what would look good there, not distract from the pulpit but draw attention to the messenger and the message, and tie in the existing elements.

The sanctuary is decorated with stained glass windows on the side walls and the woodwork near the pulpit features a grapevine motif. Perfect: One of my favorite sermons of Jesus is John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Painting a parable is unnecessary. The illustration has already been described by the greatest Teacher. But I wanted to show the beauty of the vine, the variety of fruit, the stub of pruning, and overshadow it with the cross.