For those of you that are not located in South Texas, or anywhere in Texas for that matter, we have had a very challenging year when it comes to keeping a lush landscape. Not only was it very hot, very often, but it was very dry, also. As you drive around San Antonio, yard after yard is burnt to a crisp. We at Villa Finale, are charged with not only being stewards of the objects in Mr. Mathis’s collection and buildings, but also the beautiful landscape that he created. This presented a very challenging problem for us to solve.
San Antonio gets all of its potable water from the Edwards Aquifer. So, during times of drought, we are placed under watering restrictions. The watering restrictions are graduated and correlate to the level of water in the Aquifer. For most of this summer we were, and still remain, in Stage 2 watering restrictions. What does that mean for those of us that are required to keep our landscapes alive and healthy? It makes things much more challenging. You may water by hand and use drip irrigation any day, but you can only use sprinklers and soaker hoses on your designated day of the week and only between the hours of 3 AM to 8 AM and 8 PM and 10 PM.
We adhered strictly to these restrictions, but we had an ace in our pocket. We use organic methods to manage our landscape. By simply using what nature gives us in the form of normal yard waste, and a knowledge of how mother nature used to provide everything that it needs to sustain itself for many years prior to our creation of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, we have started to revitalize our landscape at Villa Finale. By using compost and Vermicompost, worm castings, we can create almost everything that we need right here on site to successfully manage the health and vitality of our landscape even in the severe conditions that we have endured this past year.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. All year I have heard comments from our guests, “You must not be adhering to the watering restrictions.” “Has it been raining more in San Antonio than the rest of Texas?” “Your yard is so green! What is your trick?” No tricks. We just have invested a little bit of money and have taken the time to learn from the lessons that nature used to care for its self long before we came along. I am not trying to say that it has been easy to get the results that we have, but it worked. So, what was the final score? Well, I would not call this game over yet, but I would at least say that we are ahead.