Friday, July 13, 2012

Total water ban? $2,000 of new plants? No problem!

Last week the Town of Ipswich enacted a total ban on outside watering due to a malfunction at one of their pumping stations. A neighbor of mine came over to ask how I was faring, he was concerned that I wouldn't be able to care for everything especially after the money I've put into the new plants. I simply replied, "Hasn't affected me one bit." And here's why:

I have two 50 gallon rain barrels attached to my two most productive downspouts. The first one is tucked in next to my vegetable and herb beds by the side door. It's the same color as the house, so it camouflages nicely, I think.

The second one is on the other end of the house by the shade garden. This one overflows into a pipe that runs under the path and into a t-shape perforated pipe under the three ostrich ferns in the middle of the island shade garden below. So when it really pours instead of overflowing onto our foundation it gives an extra soak to the plants that love that.

drought tolerant monarch waystation
All the full sun plants are drought tolerant so once they get a week of supplemental watering after planting they're all set for a week of no rain. The monarch waystation to the right hasn't been watered in weeks, it's pretty happy, we have at least six baby monarch caterpillars munching away and dozens of eggs waiting to hatch.

The shade plants that do need a bit of extra water do fine with a little bit from the rain barrels. And if those run low I stick a bucket under our shower and let that fill up while the water warms up and when I'm not rinsing soap and shampoo. I can usually get another 2 to 3 gallons that way. I know it sounds like a bit of work, but 2 or 3 gallons waters all my planters and my three compact sweet pepper bushes that droop when it's hot and dry.

I do all these practices even when we don't have a water ban. The minute it was lifted I heard the tell tale sounds of sprinklers shifting back and forth around the neighborhood. My garden looks just as green and lush as everyone's and I haven't touched a hose. It's not hard, just takes some planning and thinking and a little bit of help from Mother Nature to fill up the rain barrels every once in a while. 


  1. Another wonderful post, Katie, and the gardens are looking excellent! - Kerry

  2. Thanks Kerry! now if we'd just get some rain! :)

  3. Another wonderful post, Katie, and the gardens are looking excellent!


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