The garden is in a triangle-shaped park in the heart of a 1930's neighborhood. Gardeners tend assigned plots which seemed to be about 4' square.
Vintage touches had been added to some of the plots
What are those ceramic pieces in the plots?
They are called ollas (pronounced oh-yahs) which is the spanish word for pot.
The tour provides a glimpse into gardens and watersaving ideas for landscapes around the city and some of these watersaving ideas are based on old concepts. One new/old idea are these ollas which are unglazed terracotta pots in use at these community gardens.
When the olla is filled with water, it will slowly seep out through the porous surface depending on the needs of the surrounding soil and water the garden. This technique has been used since at least the 1st Century BC in China. The system was used by Native Americans in the arid southwest as well. Because the water flows as needed it does save water and plants don't wilt as quickly. I was interested to see ollas in use because part of my garden has limited access to water and ollas could be a good solution.
Most of the garden plots had four ollas, I loved the colors and detail on these.
The ollas on display here were nicely made with artfully designed lids.
Great finials on this compost bin. Since there is no fence I'd worry about this stuff walking away.
For those of you who are here for the spiky plants, this is a closer look at the agave behind the compost bin. The purple flowers are Ruellia and there's a crape myrtle on the left and Texas Mountain Laurel to the right.
I came away with a possible solution to one of my gardening problems. In researching this post I found a link to an idea for a low pressure drip irrigation system based on ollas that also might work for my own garden out by the shed. There are also instructions online for making inexpensive ollas for your own garden from terracotta flower pots.
You can take a look back at the Alamo Heights garden featuring great native plants which I posted previously from the tour. The tour is sponsored each year by the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) to promote waterwise landscaping around the city.
Love those ollas - never seen them with such pretty colors. Did you get the info on purchasing some? Love to share them with the folks around here.ReplyDelete
These are particularly pretty aren't they.Delete
The ollas shown are from Milagro del Rio Brazos Pottery here in San Antonio. I couldn't find a website for them, but might be able to find them again at local art or garden shows.
They are beautiful addition to the garden. I like the home-made alternative but will hopefully find the ones from Milagro del Rio Brazos Pottery for a spot in my garden. Thanks for sharing the info!Delete
Ollas...who knew? (not me obviously)...love them. And thank you for realizing my eyes were instantly attracted to the huge agave behind the compost bins...ReplyDelete
I thought about labeling the photo "for Danger Garden" but you figured it out anyway.Delete
Like the idea of using ollas to water dry areas. I've got some old porous clay pots that I might try that with next summer.ReplyDelete
I plan to try that next year too.Delete
I just learned something new today. Very cool idea. I think here I'd have them stolen. Keep up us uptodate on how they work for you. I like it.ReplyDelete
I do plan to show whatever contraption I come up with.Delete
That is brilliant! I am excited to place one by each new tree I planted - makes so much sense and I think it will be an especially great way to establish new trees....ReplyDelete
For new trees you really need a lot more water. We use a soaker hose or drip ring. We also use a piece of pvc pipe at a 45 degree angle to ensure the water gets deep into the roots. The pipe can be easily removed without disturbing new roots.Delete
This was new to me, too. Beautiful ollas. If I didn't live in soggyville, I would have been tempted to take some home with me. How did you resist?ReplyDelete
The garden I had in mind at the time wasn't quite the place for something this special. Maybe next time.Delete
I've been hearing more and more about ollas and am going to try them in one bed that is particularly dry. I'd like to try the DIY version before investing any money in a pretty one. Looking forward to meeting you Saturday!ReplyDelete
DIY will be the first choice here too. There are some great ideas online. The decorative ones are nice investments for some part of the garden.Delete
I am excited about meeting you and the other bloggers too!
Milagro del Rio Brazos Pottery info:ReplyDelete