Click on the photo to see a larger version on Flickr. Click here to see the entire album titled Sub-irrigation » California "Bubble SIP" Drought Tolerant Patio Garden.
The garden is now 3 months old and looking good while conserving precious water through the use of sub-irrigated planters (SIPs).
It is a sad commentary that it is highly unlikely that there is another SIP garden like this in all of Southern California (probably all of California). The University of California Extension program and its so-called "master gardener" volunteers are living and gardening in a prior century. Their shopworn mantra is "make sure your pot has a drain hole." How yesterday.
This is hard to comprehend considering that California is suffering a drought crisis of immense proportions. Planters with drain holes waste water. Who knows how much? There are millions of them out there silently wasting water and producing plants of inferior quality. I have hundreds of photos that document this.
Note that there are little or no shadows in the above photo. The garden is in a courtyard surrounded by a two story building. It has been in shade for more than a month as the sun is now lower in the southern sky and blocked by the 2-story structure to the right. See the difference in the photo below.
Recent growth would have been much greater if the garden were still in full sun for a good part of the day. Sub-irrigation helps to mitigate the loss of direct sunlight. If this were my property, I would probably move the garden to a sunnier location to the left during the winter.