Sunday, May 11, 2008 – Rain Harvesting

Bill and I are getting closer a final spec on our “rain water collecting, distribution, and transfer system.” That is just the engineer in me wanting to name a system; in other words we are rain harvesting…still a neat name! As a reminder, were trying to take rain harvesting to a level where we can EASILY transfer the water from the main collector (the house) and move it around the garden either as storage or to use. Putting in the valves wasn’t so bad, although Bill did draw blood doing something only field engineers know to be a bad idea, but we seem to do anyway. After all that, Bill has rethought these valves and will test others on Monday. The pump will also be tested next week.

I am a true believer that there are no coincidences in meeting people. Bill is one of the ones I believe who was put in my path to meet and I am so glad I did.

It has been a good spring in the garden. Such an amazing contrast from last year this time when the drought was officially called. We have plenty of water and I’m happy to report most people realize that we still don’t need to water our grass; but still others do – because they can, I guess. I don’t plan to water my grass and will get a sign to put out when it goes crispy brown that says “Dormant for the Moment.” I am getting another sign to put out that says “Gardens Watered with Harvested Rain Water”.

The week was interesting and I can’t look back to say with confidence that I accomplished something important. I guess it was too mudded with work. However the work was loads of fun. A crew from Better Homes and Gardens was in town to shoot one of my gardens. By one of my gardens, I mean one I scouted and then was their field editor. We had BHG art director and photographer, plus the photographer’s assistant. Working in two different lights, the evening of one day and the morning of another, waiting for the sun between the rain clouds and drops, vying for the perfect shot on top of the SUV, delightful homeowner’s, good food, good conversation and many laughs and shared stories. Perhaps I had such a good time at the end of the week that the beginning of the week was just over shadowed.

After I left the BHG crew, I raced home to host Aster’s 7th birthday sleepover with 4 of his friends. The frogs in the garden were a big hit. As it would happen each boy brought a frog Webkinz as their sleep toy. Hours were spent trying to spy the frogs. As you can imagine, the frogs were out of sight, but obviously egging the children on with their croaking. Let’s just say my flag iris surrounding the fountain base (and blooming beautifully, I might add) are a little worse for the wear.

Saturday, I had the good fortune to have lunch with Amelia and Beth and more of their friends thanking those who helped promote their garden art sale and open garden. A lunch that was to be over at 1:00 reluctantly broke up at 3:30. Many good ideas were cooked with these amazing women. We may be on to something with an idea that was “seeded at the kitchen table, to bloom in the Triangle area.” We’ll see!

Now it is mother’s day…breakfast in bed, flowers picked from the garden, and candy to be shared (of course), this is what it is all about. As an added bonus, we have a gentle rain falling; still gentle enough that I hear the birds chirping. I wonder if I can get my kids to put another pot of coffee on…

Helen Yoest (Philbrook)

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