Water, water, everywhere, and not a minute to lose

In the middle of what has arguably been the best summer in years, the only people complaining about the heat are the gardeners, myself amongst them. How glorious to sip a g&t on a sunny evening! How less so to be robbed of that opportunity because of a stupid pipe dream about setting up a working smallholding that now means you’re spending a couple of hours a night desperately watering to keep your plants alive (and still not getting it all done!).

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Watering: boring, and made difficult by entitled canines

A couple of acres of orchard, garden and kitchen garden, not to mention new trees and shrubs that are still getting established, and you suddenly find that your evening is completely taken over. Enter, stage left, our amazing gardeners bearing beatific smiles and miles of irrigation hoses. It really is worth hunting out professionals who really know their trades. Ours were delighted when they learned that we had a well they could hook an irrigation system up to. Off they trotted to get a ladder and despite our feeble protested, down they went into the slightly creepy blackness.IMG_0531 A copious amount of four=smelling black ooze was brought up and dumped into one of the old pond holes we need to fill and the news came back that far from being a well as we’d originally thought, it’s actually a 8000 litre underground rainwater tank that captures water from our gutters! Having imparted this rather marvellous news, they merrily wandered about hooking all of our raised beds / orchard trees / flowers beds etc up to a couple of grand central systems. IMG_0313And that means, dear friends, that evenings can once again be spent enjoying the odd g&t and observing the garden from a distance rather than up close through a spray! The irrigation was admittedly expensive. Indeed, after the actual raised beds themselves, it’s probably been our biggest landscaping expense so far. But it makes our lives immeasurably easier and will be really helpful in getting us reliable harvests as the plants will get regular drip feeding rather than just the odd dousing from a hose. All in all, I think I’d prioritise this over most other garden expenses. I never thought I’d beam quite so widely at hoses…DSCF3690

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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