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Drip, drip, drip

July 16, 2017

Writing a brief update while my sheets and towels are being washed in my neighbour Pat’s machine. Using the amount of cistern water required for a bedding load is not an option, so thank goodness for Pat. (Before the move here was permanent, before we had our own washer and dryer, when Mike and I would come for the summer months, Pat very kindly used to let us use his. Much appreciated, as the only other option was trekking down to Silva Bay marina and using the expensive and incredibly slow laundry facilities there.)

One thing I’ve learned in the past few days is that I don’t actually use a lot of water (other than on the garden). Saving grey water from showers and washing up is not enough to water all the berries and fruit trees and rhododendrons and roses. This is heartbreaking.

clancy roses

Those of you who’ve known me long enough to remember Clancy, my crazy black cat (or who have followed my garden misadventures long enough to remember the accidental discovery of his buried body), know that this was a cat who deserved a truly vibrant rose to mark his grave. For the past few years I’ve been lucky to see one or two deep red roses from Clancy’s bush. This year it’s going mad, producing many, many blooms. I cannot stop watering it. Nor can I bear to stop watering the rose bushes that mark Angie’s and Tri’s graves.

I know I should be prioritising the vegetable bed.

07-16 peas

It’s already given me peas (and lettuce and rocket). It will give me beans (which have started to flower) and courgettes and squash.

I mean, look at it. It is producing  more produce than it has ever produced before.

07-16 veg

Not long before the well ran dry I planted a second round of lettuce, rocket, kale, peas (foreground) and beans, all of which are sprouting beautifully. If I can only water one thing, this has to be it.

07-16 sprouting

But, as I’ve already said, it’s heartbreaking. The strawberries, which should be flowering again, aren’t. The raspberry crop has been pitiful and the leaves on the raspberry plants are already turning yellow, as are the leaves on the lilac tree. I’m giving them barely enough greywater to keep them alive. Ditto the fruit trees and the herb garden. As for the rhododendrons…

An email the other day from Rhodo Dave to the rhodo club:

“Hi Rhodo lovers,

“It is now time to give your rhodos the special fertilizer to encourage blooms for next year, Superphosphate 0-45-0 (the creamy white granules).  Give small rhodos about 1/3 of a small handful and larger plants a small handful, sprinkling it around the base of the plant. Water the plants well for the next couple of weeks to wash the fertilizer into the soil and reduce the risk of fertilizer burn. Fertilizer burn is brown crinkly edges appearing on the leaves. It is unsightly, but doesn’t harm the plant long term.

“Let me know if you have any questions.”

Well, yes, I do have a question, so I reply, asking if there is any point in fertilising if I’m not sure how much, if any, water I can give them? He rings to say exactly what I assumed was the case: No, there is no point in fertilising without enough water. Sigh.

The plumber, who is a very busy man, was not able to get to me this week. He tells me he will come tomorrow afternoon. Until then I can still live in hope that the well is not actually dry. Whether or not I can afford the cost of repairing it, if that is the case (I can’t, but that’s what the line of credit is for, isn’t it?) is another question.

Fingers crossed.

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