6 February 2007

stage 3

Showering with a bucket between your feet is a bit of a circus act.

As is hauling the full bucket out of the house and lugging it up all.those.steps to the newest seedlings, trying not to splosh it all over your shoes and skirt. Attempting to get small boys to remember to do so after their own showers is futile so I end up doing multiple bucket runs per day. Not that I mind. The act of nurturing each individual plant through this relentless summer is a small pleasure that appeals to my sense of stewardship, and of course gives me all those smug fuzzy feelings. I take it as a personal insult when a plant turns up its toes. So far I’ve lost one Helichrysum petiolare and one Grevillea Honey Gem (a seedling, not strong enough yet to withstand harsh conditions). Not bad. I pulled back a lemon-scented tea tree seedling from the brink of extinction recently and the euphoria I felt at this wee success was really quite out of proper proportion.

hollyhocks
These hollyhocks are not mine. I adore hollyhocks, lupins and foxgloves (I can take or leave delphiniums) but they are quite ridiculous for this bush garden and this climate. Nevertheless they are from Montsalvat, which is nearby.

Trying to remember which day ‘evens’ are allowed to water (and at what times) is challenging. Twice a week, and only then between the crack of sparrows’ fart dawn and 8am, and no lawns at all not ever no way Jose. So, I haven’t watered with a hose or mains water for many many weeks now. It’s greywater or nothing. Luckily we are a clean living family who shower frequently.

sunflowers at montsalvat

I recently purchased one of those connecting hoses for the washing machine to try and catch the final rinse water, but I can’t get it to connect firmly enough and the sight of the hose flailing around the laundry, soaking me in (valuable! precious! Planet Ark-enriched!) water amused the children no end. The mister is the only one strong enough to jam the pipe properly on so I can recycle the water only if he and his superior strength happen to be home when I do the washing.

(Mr Soup is banned from the laundry as there are some things he just.can.not.grasp [correct separation of lint givers and lint collectors, dirty overalls and cricket wear not in with the smalls and delicates, etc]. Fear not, he does take the rubbish out. Oh hang on, I do that too. Okay, he changes light globes and unsticks windows and makes school lunches and does important things with power tools).

late afternoon sun

Next up when the bank balance allows: a rainwater tank. Assuming it will rain again one day.

20 comments:

Susan said...

Stage 3 water restrictions are tough. I've already lost quite a few things. Heartbreaking. My garden means alot to me. I can remember my parents going through this in the 70s. It will rain again. Just need to keep things going till it does. Dreading Stage 4.

blackbird said...

My god.

Sainthood awaits thee...
whilst I prattle on of liquid hand soap.

(I will mention, in my own defense, that we are drowning over here.)

Sinda said...

It sounds like Texas. We're so far behind on our waterfall that it doesn't seem like we'll ever catch up. But even so, I'm looking forward to summer - thanks for sharing yours!

Lazy cow said...

My back is shot from lugging bathwater out to the courtyard. Thankfully the kids have finally decided they prefer showering, so there are less trips with the bucket. My Pierre de Ronsard climbing rose is going crazy with hardly any water though. And at the Boy's kindergarten the kids are taking their handwashing water out to water the pots. Adorable.

Eclair said...

We've been using one of those bendy-rubber Gubba Trug buckets to stand in (the big one) when we shower. And the kids are sharing a bath (all three of them) which I use for the plant watering too.

Just started raining today though. Biblically. A huge pond has appeared in our garden (it was dry brown grass yesterday!) and it already has 3 ducks paddling in it.

Here's hoping the clouds head your way next!

BabelBabe said...

my neighbor uses a (brand-new, squeaky-clean) blue recycling plastic 55-gallon barrel for rainwater collection. would that work?

I admire your fortitude in lugging shower water. you are clearly a hardy pioneer type. I would shrivel up and roast to death, as would my garden.

but we are FREEZING here.

Em said...

We are on stage 3 water restrictions too - but we can only water once a week... fortunately (as you say) we are a clean living family who showers and baths daily so there is plenty of grey water to go around. I just wonder when they're going to start curtailing our shower time.

--erica said...

I adore hollyhocks.
I can't grow them here..

I'm sorry about your lack of water.
UGH.

My float said...

Your point about the rainwater tank amused me. The focus is heavily on rainwater tanks but there's no darn rain to be seen!!

Despite this idiosyncracy, it's on my must have list when we move (which is no time soon judging by the houses that are out there!)

Melanie said...

I have done the exact same thing with the laundry hose extension, what a disaster! Unless I am mistaken though, we are also allowed to water b/tw 8-10pm on our allocated days, yes? That's when our vegies get their soaking, anyway, I'm not organized enough to be doing it in the early slot.

Badger said...

What Daisy said about Texas summers being like that, too. We just stick with perennials and let everything die back. It's impossible to maintain color around here in a drought.

capello said...

oh man, i cannot imagine such a drought. i hope it rains really soon for ya.

would you like me to ship you some snow?

Elizabeth said...

Will.Ship.Ice.And.Snow.Stop.

Emma said...

We are on the water restrictions up here too. I can never remember which day is our turn to bucket water, so all but three pot plants have been abandoned to the elements. Fortunately for my garden we have had a few showers, so nothing's died yet. We are planning a rainwater tank as part of our renovations this year.

herhimnbryn said...

Oh this sounds so familiar!
I have 2 20lt plastic containers that I heave into the laundry sink and poke the washing machine hose into them, for planet ark water. Then I give myself a hernia and heave the containers onto a trolley ( welded by a talented father in law) and trolley round the garden.



I am developing

herhimnbryn said...

To finish........( power blipped).....
I am developing great biceps.

Surfing Free said...

Yep, we in Sydney know all about water restrictions as well. When my girls see our sadly neglected hose they BEG me to chase them around spraying water all over them ... but I'd be hauled off by the water police if I did that.

Our pool sucks up an enormous amount of water, even though we have a cover for it, so I am especially frugal with the rest of our water. I have containers everywhere to catch spare water and I pour it all over my beloved herb garden and on my flower pots every night.

We have been measured up for a water bladder - one that goes under the house and is flexible and almost invisible. It's about $600 but well worth it I think.

sherry said...

I'm a bit suspicious about husbands and laundry. I think it's common man-knowledge that a disaster or two will get them out of laundry duty for the duration. With my husband it was 9 pairs of blue jeans (in a small top-loading machine) with a cup of bleach over the top.

Your plants are VERY lucky to have you.

String Bean said...

*Sending some Washington State rain your way*

It ALWAYS rains here. I wish some of this weather would run away to Australia.

Mama Lamb said...

I know the water hauling well. We have had a couple of summers of drought here. And even though we have our own well (and are not dependant on sity restrictions etc...) we don't know how long the well will last, and have to be cautious. We have a large grey water tank outside our laundry shed, and also our kitchen sink has a grey water line out to some lucious blackberry brambles. But carting the shower water is really when we know things have gotten bad.. and I am always greatful to see the rain again!

Hope you get some rain soon!