Sunday, June 08, 2008

When the heat is on...get inventive

It is summer weather here in Holland lately and has brought about my routine of conserving water. I am dedicating this entry to my wonderful friend Mary over at Across the Pond who is enduring some terrible heat at the moment in North Carolina.
Now we don't have drought restrictions here on our water but I still think it is important to conserve water in any possible way. Having my garden is important to me and I started using the tips I picked up on a couple of gardening shows. These are tips other than saving the rainwater in a barrel.

Use whatever water is left in your kitchen to water your plants. This can be water from boiling vegetables, eggs (I do love my medium boiled egg in an egg cup on the weekends!) or even too much water in a tea kettle. Just let this water cool off and pour it out on the plants.

Another tip was using the dishwater. It is fine to do this on any plants other than fruits and vegetables. So I throw my dishwater on my flowerbeds and use other water for my herbs and vegetables.

On one program, Christine Walkden from Christine's Garden, actually showed how she used a garden hose to siphon water from her bathtub to her garden while England was in the grips of a major drought. It was a humorous show and she laughed herself saying the trick was not to get a mouthful of the bathwater as she sucked on one end of the hose but it worked. She had a good bit of water for her garden without ignoring the 'hosepipe ban'.

It is easy to do these things which not only save water for the planet but pennies in our wallets. Once you start, it becomes second nature to do. Do you have any other tips about watering your plants?

I wanted to share a few more blooms lately from my garden at Cranberry Cottage. The Aquilegia or Granny's Bonnets have seeded themselves all over the garden this year. I will be trying to carry some of the seedlings over to another area of the garden this year. Our rose arbour that we put in last year has its first double flowering clematis in bloom. I put a wisteria on one side and two clematis on the other. One of the two clematis is still quite small but has this pretty blossom with promise of a few more soon while the other seems to be struggling in the heat. I still hope it will do well after the watering from this weekend. We had not only perfect weather with clear blue skies this weekend but the joy of the company of birds. I will share more about that in my next entry.....



great tips Heidi! I can't use them right now because it has been raining for weeks,(my plants are loving it!) but I am sure it will average out and it will come in handy in July and August...stay cool! does your cottage bring you much relief? when the heat arrives in Minnesota the only relief is to head north to our cottage...

Miss Jean said...

Thank you for the tips. We're in the throws of a drought here in California and have been asked by the governor to cut our water back by at least 10%. I think that is more than doable.

Mary said...

Thanks for the great tips Heidi - and dedicating the post to moi!!!

Each morning Bob and I fill our buckets with water as the showers warm up - use this for those huge hydrangeas in front of the porch, they get SO thirsty! I do use any water left in the tea kettle, but now will start saving my veggie cooking water etc. too. Guess I should put that in the birdbaths though should I? Don't want the birdies to have upset tiny tummies!

We can water with the hose twice a week 6-10AM and 6-10PM, and one of those days can also use the sprinkler attached to the hose - we did that today. Of course, with this current heatwave (102 today again), and no rain in the forecast, I won't be surprised if the watering ban starts up again, ugh!

I was tagged by an English guy to do the meme thing - so soon as I have the time I'll tell all (well not quite ALL) too!

Hope you've had a fun weekend Heidi.

Nancy said...

Well, I bet most people will draw the line when they get to the bathtub idea. LOL. Your flowers are beautiful as always. My favorite is the first picture.
Love you, Mom

Anonymous said...

Heidi your flowers are beautiful. Is that because of the good woodland, the manure or the love and care from you and Jos? No, maybe it is from the washing-up water with froth ? Strange word for me, I just meant : water met zeepbelletjes!
Hugs en groetjes, Elly

Rhondi said...

Hi Heidi
Those are all good sugestions for saving water. We are not supposed to use "grey water", water that comes from washing etc. They say it contaminates the soil! I don't get it. My hydrangeas are back to normal this morning. THry area amazing. Every afternoon they will inthe sun and every morning they are back to normal evemn without being given more water. I think that wilting and shrinking in the heat is God's way of making there be less surface area exposed to the sun so the heat won't bother the plant as much.
Yes I do spend much more time indoors sewing on quilts in the summer. Poeple in the cold climates soend their winters inside quilting. In the south we spend the summer inside quilting!
Hope you're having a good day.
Hugs, Rhondi

happy@home said...

Hi Heidi,
Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It looks like you have lots of experience with blogging. I am planning to come back and visit you but I can already tell I am in for a treat.
Your inventive water ideas are timely as we have been in a drought for a long time here. If nothing else it has made me really appreciate what a precious resource water is.

Enjoy your day,

yellowfarmhouse said...

Great tips Heidi. Right now we've been having to much rain and everything is green and lush. But I'm enjoying it because in a few weeks things will get brown and dull with the lack of rain that always comes our way during the summer. Your flowers are beautiful.

Hugs - Karen

Angela said...

Your plants certainly look as if they appreciate the extra care you are taking in providing them with alternative watering. I love the Aquilegia. We have so many different ones but sadly, not that beautiful variety.

I saw that episode of Christine's Garden too. I just ove that woman AND her wonderful neighbour :>)
Hugs, Angela

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hi Heidi,
Wonderful tips. I do use my tea water to water my indoor plants....I live about 4 hours from Mary - Across The Pond. I do live in the mountains and that helps a little, but the temp at been in the high 90F here...

Your flowers are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidie,
Had een berichtje voor je geschreven maar hij staat bij je vorige post !!!
Kwam door al die prachtige bloemenfoto's :)
Groetjes, Janneke.

Mia said...

What clever ways to conserve water! I do have to admit I tend to be quite careless with water since we have so much of it (our own well), but I should really better myself. Thank you for reminding me. Your aquilegias are so pretty. I am quite fond of them myself, and have many in my garden. As you say, they are so good at seeding themselves.

Regarding your question about spring onions, Firstly I will just have to say that I am nowhere near an expert on the matter (or any other horticultural matters) and have only a few years of experience with spring onions. I tend to start picking mine a lot smaller and earlier than the shop bought varieties (I do not even think they would reach such enviable thickness in my garden) and just pick two or three for a salad instead of one shop bought one. But your climate is different (warmer) so you might get yours to grow bigger. Not that size really matters when it comes to taste (as with most vegies, the "baby" ones usually taste the best, I believe), the main thing is to water them enough so they will taste milder. I am not sure I managed to answer your question...

Ragged Roses said...

Lovely photos Heidi! So good to hear that you've been experiencing the good weather too. They're good tips you've given, I try to use some of those too.
Thanks too Heidi for all the lovely supportive comments you left on my last post, I really appreciate them!

Elizabethd said...

Heidi, I love the double clematis. Mine have been so attacked by the slugs this year, they are only just growing up, no flowers to speak of , yet.

Pondside said...

We live on an island and we never have moderation with regards to water - it's either soggy or dry as a bone here. We have all sorts of tricks for summer watering. I bought a bucket to match the bathroom accessories, and it goes into the shower anytime a family member goes in. It just sits alongside the soapy body, collecting whatever water comes by, and I use it to water the planters. A little soap doesn't seem to hurt them, and you'd be surprised at how much water would otherwise go down the drain.

Carolien said...

Wow, that clematis of yours is stunning! I love it.

Hugs, Carolien