The Garden Grows

My dad talked me out of moving the garden.  He can make the pump work and water flow, he claims, and I believe that, if anyone can, he can, so why the hell not?  I call him up to ask his opinion and he immediately launches into how important it is to put the garden where I want to put the garden and to not be afraid that I can’t make it work.  What about the water? I ask and he says, if all else fails, it will rain, Betsy.

And then he tells some stories about some people I don’t know.  I mean, by now, I do, at least, know their names, even if I’m not sure exactly how he knows them or why.  He could just be making up stories; I wouldn’t know.  I hope droning on about people no one knows but you is not a sign of senility, because I will never notice a change.  Ha.

Sometimes he tells stories just to tell them and sometimes I think he has some idea he wants to convey, or not an idea, maybe that’s too strong.  There’s something he wants to pass between us that he can’t articulate and I can’t understand and he hopes, I think, that the stories will be a means of conveyance.  The wrapping paper on something.

The thing about my dad is that he gets things done.  He starts things and finishes them.  I start things and then trust that they will somehow work out without my involvement.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that, with a father who finishes things, that’s true.  I’m learning to be better about it, but we’ll see.

Always waiting to see.  Like if I killed the strawberries or not.  We’ll see.

I have no doubt that he will make the pump work.

So, I guess, we just need to be ready for water.

Oh, I forgot the point of this, which was to say that his brother called him to report that Google still has him living in the little town he lived in two towns ago.  And he wanted to know how he could change that.  And I said “Well, you have to get some stuff on the internet with your right address, then, Dad and leave it where Google can find it.”

“Well, why doesn’t it just know?”

“It’s not omnipotent.”

“Well, doesn’t Google read Tiny Cat Pants?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“You mean, you don’t use our real names?  You just call us ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’?”

“Yeah.  What did you think?  I was all ‘My parents, whose names are… and who live … suck and you should totally go and tell them?'”

“Well, that would at least mean Google would have my address right.”

21 thoughts on “The Garden Grows

  1. Put empty containers around the garden and let them collect rainwater to use during dry spells.

  2. I’ve never done it, but I see it heavily in rural areas. There must be a trick to conserving rain water. Maybe they cap off the containers (I see lots of old milk jugs) between rains? I bet Ed Begley knows the solution to your problem. ;-)

  3. The problem is that a rain barrel works by catching runoff from the roof (a one-inch rain will put one inch of rain into a barrel, but runoff from the roof is huge), so there’s still the same problem of distance from the house to the garden. All the same, rain barrels are cool, and I’m trying to figure out whether I could get one to work — since my house is downhill from my garden, I’m not sure.

  4. Well, I’m thinking you could apply the mesh to containers closer to the garden as well. Maybe rig with a large top funnel somehow for a wider collection area.

  5. Get a rain barrel, cut a hole near the base and install a hose bib, (faucet), hook up the hose and water away. Not a lot of pressure but it beats carrying buckets.

  6. AuntB: I expect it’s because of poorly installed ones acting as breeding grounds. either that or because they are “unsightly”

  7. nm, you could still make it work, depending on how much elevation difference there is between your house and the garden.

    You can put your rain barrel on a pedestal to get a couple of extra feet. And if you use one of the bigger rain barrels, they get up to 3-4 ft tall so you can get six feet or so of elevation if you try. But you wouldn’t be able to use the water in the lower part of the barrel in your garden.

    I’ve got lots of grandiose ideas for my own rain barrels. I won’t hijack B’s post anymore, but I think I’m going to write my own post tonight.

  8. Rain barrels are illegal in lots of western states because water rights are often seperate from land ownership. So you might have a creek on your property, but someone else owns the right to the water. So if you use a rain barrel you’re stealing water that would rightfully end up in the creek for them to use. It’s a weird argument, but in drier areas water use laws can get pretty prickly.

  9. I can’t say if it’s a sign of senility or not, but I can tell you that your parents aren’t the only ones who do it.

  10. W, the elevation difference is only a few feet, but the garden is 40 feet or so back of the house, and I’m not sure I could keep a hose from sagging to the ground. But you give me food for thought here. Thanks!

  11. NM you don’t have to keep your hose in the air. The key is the height of the water in the barrel versus the height of the end of the hose. The water will keep flowing as long it’s higher than the end of the hose. Though you will need a little extra height of water since your hose is so long.

    You might also consider a soaker hose since holding the hose in your hand would make it 3 ft higher and mean less water pressure.

  12. I use soaker hoses anyhow, so that’s no challenge. But you’re telling e that even if there’s a dip of a few feet in the middle (lower than both the rain barrel [if I put the barrel up on a platform] and the garden) it won’t matter if the hose starts out higher than the garden? Because, if so, rain barrel here I come.

    And I already use soaker hose, so that’s no challenge.

    B has the most helpful commenters, I must say.

  13. Oh, W, I was just about to post something saying, “correct me if I’m wrong, b/c I’m not an engineer, but nm just needs the level of the barrel above the level of the garden/hose, right?” Yay! (feels that science-y undergrad was not wasted)

  14. I’m usually pretty good on high-school level physics, but I must have been absent that day.


  15. Yah, I’m the official brain for the day! Is there compensation?

    Yeah, water wants to equalize itself so the weight of the water in the barrel will push it back uphill. You’ll need a little extra elevation in the barrel because the water will lose some energy going through that much hose. And you probably won’t have enough pressure to run a sprinkler, but a soaker or drip type system should work.

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