Rainwater collection

I thought that exciting headline would make you keep reading.

One of the wishes for our new extension was a way to collect the rainwater that came off the roof and give me access to it for the garden.

Up until now it just falls either onto the ground (the rain is so fierce, the inadequate size of the original house guttering cannot direct it anywhere but down), or goes into the Eloy water system on the lower terraces. Good for the septic tank and the weeds below. Not for me.

So here you have a quick photo essay of the new water butt. And my method for avoiding flooding.

Complicated connector guttering from the main house and the extension.

And my new water butt that sat like an egg in two pieces while the walls and extension went up.

Here is Etienne giving you a scale idea of its size. 1300 litres.

And then came the challenge of what to do if the water butt fills so fast that there is an overflow.

Sorry, that shot was revolting. But the garden room is so grotty I don’t dare give you an overview. I have a day of work to get it sorted and only then will you see the glory that is my future space.

I had a 25 metre roll of this special piping (ghastly colour) so I dug a trench all the way along the floor of the garden room and then worked my way along the potager path and out the other side.

The overflow will irrigate the apple tree and the soft fruit orchard.

Egads this isn’t thrilling as a visual essay. But it took me days of work. And I’m pleased with the result.

Naturally I wanted to sow this whole path with grass seeds now that the pipe is buried.

But that has proved challenging with the ants who steel the seeds faster than I can sow them.

Step forward a spot of transplanting. Fastidious work. But I had a helper. Well a hindrance, but I never grumble if she wants to sit on my lap. It just makes every garden job take a bit longer as you are limited in what you can reach.

I uprooted the grasses that were growing near the old compost bins behind my potting shed (lusty growth from all that lovely rich soil) and did a spot of plug planting.

I could take up hair transplanting next. It is an instant result and means when you nip down to the potager you don’t get muddy feet when it rains.

Pleased with that.

Instant gardening. There is not much of that round here, but I’m going to see if I can do more for the path below the brand new just-completed steps…