Sunday, March 9, 2008 Water Harvesting

With wind, rain, and water harvesting, it has been a very busy week. After Wednesday’s rain, with more coming on Friday, I needed to rethink my approach to water harvesting. My rain barrels were full, overflows working well, and rains coming, I had too much water in one place. I needed to figure out how to move and store more water. This was where the fun began. From devastation comes camaraderie. Every encounter planned or by chance, sprung drought conversation and with that, unique ways to save water.

One such planned conversation turned into a chance conversation when talking with Bill who showed me his system of harvesting 250 gallons of water. Bill didn’t even have a garden to use it on, he just happened to be a really neat guy who likes to tackle challenges. Now that he has water, he and his wife want to put in a garden. With my conversation with Bill, I realized I needed to move and store water. Bill spec’ed a water transfer pump so he can hook it up to his cistern and water with the same pressure he would with a garden hose. It occurred to me I could put storage units around my gardens (discreetly) and transfer water from my rain barrels to these new satellites in the garden. Alas, I didn’t do this in time before the Friday rains came, but I should be ready for the rain predicted this coming Friday.

This was way too much thinking for the pretty weather we had between the rains. I needed a walk in the gardens to remind me why I am going to so much effort. As I did this, I realized the beauties awaiting me were the ones who never received a drop of supplemental water!

The daffodils are looking very good – still. I love daffs! Squirrels may dig them up, but they don’t eat them. They are disappointment when they find they are not edible and move on. Mine look lonely; I haven’t put in enough since I redid my garden beds 2 years ago. I made a note to add more this fall.

The eastern Redbud (Ceris canadensis) started blooming and is looking fine. This one always surprises me. It seems to start with little fanfare until it is ready to burst and then I am reminded to enjoy her beauty. This year, the peach (Prunus persica) started blooming at the same time as the Redbud. I wish I could remember the variety, but I don’t have any record of it. What I do know is that it does not need a pollinator, has pretty pink flowers in the spring, and the squirrels play havoc with the fruit, so we never get any of it. Fortunately for me, I grow it for the flowers. Usually the Redbud and peach don’t bloom in concert, the peach blooming a couple of weeks later than the Redbud, but not this year. Noticing the Homestead purple verbena with her green leaves, I remember we have had a very mild winter despite Aster breaking ice in the birdbaths on occasion. But what is a normal day, week, month, season, or year? It is what it is and I plan to accept each day as it comes and enjoy what is blooming when it is blooming. Gardens are like their gardeners – forever changing.

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