It should have been an afternoon job, but as soon as I started it, I kept getting called away to other things and then I found I had underestimated the resources I needed and had to go out and get more and added to that the weather decided it would join the fun being caused by other delaying factors.
But it is done and while it is such a simple project, I think it will improve the corner of the garden where it lurks. And this project?… well I’m not even sure it is a thing, but I’m calling it my water catcher. Maybe it is a sink hole? But whatever it is my garden needed it.
The problem comes from my desire to have good water pressure in the garden so I can have effective irrigation. So as part of the budget blowing process of creating the garden I had installed a very good pump to deliver the water from the tank to the tap in the garden. Which is wonderful because I’m essentially watering up hill. It might be a small gradient, but it is uphill, and I want to be safe in the knowledge my garden will not thirst.
While this is good for the garden as a whole, it is not so much for the small corner of the garden where the tap is. The pressure was so much that when turned on without a bucket, watering can or other receptacle under it, it bored a hole right into the sand! Then when the kids used it to get the water for the goat or the chickens, they seemed to have an incredible ability to get water everywhere but in their buckets and any overflow from inattention filling the buckets or when the tap was not quite turned off, spilled out over edge of the fence, washing sand with it, creating a constantly damp patch in the corner of the newly seeded lawn on the other side of the fence.
I knew I needed to think about this and come up with a solution, as it bothered me. But it became more apparent when I popped in all the daffodil bulbs along the fence, the ones near the tap would rot away with all the excess water.
So, I hatched a plan. I got hold of a very deep bucket and drilled some holes in the base. I was going to dig a hole and fill it with stones to direct the water deep within the soil, deeper than the daffodil bulbs and deeper than the lawn surface on the other side of the fence so the water would drain away deeply and gently. The helpful man at the garden centre, when I tried to explain why I wanted the stones and discuss which would be best, suggested adding a deep layer of stones below the bucket so the holes in the bucket didn’t get blocked up with sand. Which made perfect sense. And I went home with a bag each of scoria for functional drainage and river stones to make it look pretty.
I then built a mini raised bed structure with leftover brackets, to contain the stones that would hide the bucket and give a bit of stone depth to absorb the splashes from exuberant use of the tap. Excitedly I dug a bucket sized hole, and then dug a bit more, added the scoria into the hole, eased the bucket onto it and pushed sand down around the outside of the bucket so it was held snug. Then with great expectation I emptied the rest of the scoria into the bucket to find my spatial awareness had jiggered thing up once again. The bucket was only half full! Seriously – how could I have not seen that! But it is all part of the journey. It was late in the day – about day four of the project that should have taken an afternoon, and the garden centre would have been long shut by the time I got there.
Eventually I found the time to go back and get more bags, with a reluctant teenage boy in tow to do the heavy lifting. This was also late in the day, so the bags sat there, taunting me for several more days until I found the time to finish the job. And in the space of less than an hour I filled the bucket and a good bottom layer of the raised bed structure with scoria and then added two bags of river stones to pretty it up and the job was done. Just like that.
Sometimes it is our easiest jobs that cause the biggest headaches, delays or reasons to procrastinate, and we come out the end of it thinking, why didn’t I just get on with it in the first place? But it is done now, and I can cross it off the list – the list it had been on for the entire #Make May Count initiative.
I think I may still fiddle with it a little bit more – I’m thinking of a duel tap attachment so the kids have no reason to unplug the hose supplying life giving water to my irrigation system and the post at the top is crying out for some kind of decorative element… I’m open to ideas but have thought maybe a container for a potted plant or flower display, a wind driven sculpture or just some kind of humble statue or finial…. Hmmm… something to ponder.
Come again soon – once again I’m a week late in making the month count but there is plenty to do.
Sarah the Gardener : o)