Regarding the Zen Garden, most of my work right now consists of pruning, sculpting and shaping trees and shrubs.
I have established shrubs and trees that need no watering, but they do need pruning because their growth is now pretty prolific.
We have four Queen Palms that are fully grown and at times they need their dead leaves/branches pruned out. This involves a tree pruner, and it’s pretty convenient but tough on the arms, shoulders and back.
Also, we have a Crepe Myrtle tree that is deciduous. It’s green leaves returned around Easter. I’ve been focused on trimming that tree as well, shaping it, removing dead branches, and lopping off the top branches to encourage a more thicker, fuller tree.
And there are various shrubs around the garden that need pruning. Ideally, almost daily to weekly pruning in order to continue shaping each shrub.
The area where the Buddha statue is situated needs almost daily maintenance and pruning too. There is a large Mock Orange shrub that I’ve been pruning over the years and shaping it around the Buddha statue.
And this goes on and on.
Another current garden project is the need to apply my homemade compost to the Roses and other plants. I made my own DIY compost tumbler out of an old plastic trash can. This was a new project, and I was so happy to have made usable compost in a couple of weeks! I drilled holes in the trash can for air, and I tumble the trash can composter on its side over the lawn, further dropping some random bits of compost there too.
As far as drip irrigation goes, I’ve been trying my best to water deeply, and infrequently. The last time I did a drip irrigation session was last Wednesday for 2 hours. Before that I accidentally left the drip irrigation running overnight, around 8+ hours. It didn’t hurt the Roses at all, but I didn’t water for about 2 weeks. So, the next time I do drip irrigation, I’ll try it for 5 hours. This is to train the Roses (especially) to become drought tolerant, and not rely on a regular watering schedule which may change if I leave for a vacation. This is important because in San Diego we have a major drought going on.
I used to live in an old house that had established Red Roses that were in front of our Master Bedroom’s bay windows. We never ever did anything to them, they are so established that we never watered them or even fertilized them. We just picked some flowers sometimes for a bouquet.
Anyway, I’m hoping to get my Roses that established, so the deep, infrequent watering is the best solution for overcoming sever drought conditions. And training the plant to become further established like the older plants in the garden.