The monastery gardens by the way appear themselves to be the recipient of divine influence. I can confidently say they are more imprssive than those at Disneyland, which is for anyone who has visited that atoried park particularly impressive considering the location of the monastery in Florence, a town of hellish dry heat whose main industry is prisons. But the gardens and orchards of the monastery produce a microclimate so that the monastery grounds seem noticeably cooler than the rest of the valley, and are quite humid. The Coptic St. Anthonys uses a lake to accomplish a similiar cooling effect, but I think the large scale of the Greek St. Anthonys causes this effect to be more pronounced despite not having an open body of water to provide cooling (which by the way is a de rigeur approach in the Barstow area; most of the rances around the Coptic monastery also have a lake or a pond for cooling, but I think the microclimate approach that the Arizona monastery uses is somewhat more dramatic).
There's an underground spring.
Im guessing the Greek one
You would be right, since you brought it up.
So that makes a lot of sense then.
My guess is the underground spring drives their irrigation works which in turn enable the gardens and create the microclimate and high humidity on the monastery grounds.
If you go into Florence or Coolidge, those towns are fiery furnaces, and they might well have apeings of their own or at least groundwater access.
I remeber in my eearly childhood Tucson was far more comfortable than it is today. and the most striking change seems to be how there are many fewer shadyntrees in the city now versus then.
The trick to fighting back the desert is to use water intelligently to create oases and vegetation which can in turn create stable microclimates.
However I do believe the pure splendor of the gardens at the two monasteries naked for St. Anthony in the US, and also from the photos Ive seen, at the Egyptian original (which also features an underground spring), should be regarded as a divine blessing in and of itself.
It also makes for a nice refutation of the Bahai faith; if you know of any Orthodox tempted to join that pernicious cult on account of the gardens which surround their "Houses of Worship", one might simply show them photographs of Elder Ephrems monastery, or better yet, take them there. St. Anthonys is a very traditional monastery operating according to an Athonite sensibility which is probably quite a bit more conservative than the Orthodoxy of people like H.E. Kallistos Ware or Fr. John Behr of SVS, but which is nonetheless full of love.