Note: This piece is a re-print from my weekly column in the Naples Daily News.
Your Design Pundit is in Los Angeles this week, enjoying the sights, the stunning museums, and the California vibe. Together with Mrs. Pundit, we’ve experienced the Frank Gehry exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, spent the day at The Getty Center, and of course found the unique beaches. I visited my high school, now nearly fifty years on, and visited Huntington Gardens.
Image: Damon Winter/The New York Times
The Big Elephant
But the elephant in the room is the persistent and debilitating California drought. The past 15 years and particularly the past four years have seen less precipitation than any time in 850 years. It’s serious major shade trees are dying along the freeways and shrubs have all but disappeared. The landscape has been drained of every last drop of water.
What can Florida learn from California’s pain?
Start by observing species that have survived the drought. It’s the cross-over species that are of interest, plants happy in the California Mediterranean climate as well as in our sub-tropical regime. I’ll discuss these plants in more detail next week. For now, let’s examine some surprising, broader effects of prolonged drought.
Uncertain Future for Workers
Removing water-hungry lawns is a big part of water reduction but there is an unseen human cost, and as usual it’s those without a voice who are hurt the most. Lawn care has served these entry-level workers for countless people, particularly Latinos. When lawns are removed, many low-wage people are hurt. They lose jobs.