Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

No ifs, no buts - butt

This post's for Rose and all of you on the other side of the pond who've been rather puzzled when I refer to my water butt. I'm not being rude as over here I'm not talking about cigarette ends or my bottom, though NAH says I talk out of the latter sometimes. It's simply a way of storing water. This one's on my allotment, about half way down the plot. I'm the furthest point away from 2 water standpipes and as my plot's on a slope, I choose to fill my butt up from time to time and water from a central point on my plot instead. Much easier! It also means I have a water supply over winter when the standpipes are turned off.

One of the projects on my ever growing list is to fix up some guttering on my shed, so that I can use rainwater instead of the limey tapwater supplied. This means I'll be able to water my blueberries using my butt instead of leaving out washbowls to collect the rain for these. However, before I can do that, I've either got to move my second largest compost heap or get rid of half a plotfull of nettles that my plot next door neighbour is growing on the other side of the shed. If I did the latter I'd technically be putting the butt on his plot, so it looks like moving the compost heap might be my chosen solution. Then there's getting the guttering and fixing it to the shed so that the shed doesn't fall down etc. etc. *Sigh*

Thanks to those of you who've left supportive comments re the state of my allotment. I'm afraid there's still work to be done. One of the results of the weedkiller on my nettles incident is that a whole new pile of rubbish has been uncovered from the time before I got my plot :( Plus the weeds are growing ever taller :( And I've got plots to prepare and stuff to plant :) I've also had a word with Mr Allotment Warden and clarified what's needed to be done - unfortunately it includes my drying rack (which you can see in the picture above - behind my butt!), something I inherited with my plot and I find very useful at onion and garlic drying time. However, the plot is looking a lot better and fingers crossed we don't get the bad weather that's forecast for the rest of the week, so I can crack on with what's left to do.

It also looks like I'll be getting a swanky new water tank for my garden. NAH's just agreed that a 555 litre (approx. 110 gallons) one would be just the thing to go down one of the paths at the side of the house. I have a 190 litre (40 gallon) one similar to my allotment butt in the back garden at the moment, which lasts about a week when we have dry spells. The larger tank will also mean I can be extremely generous with my watering instead of the measly measures I usually give my plants. The garden's noticeably more lush this year owing to last year's rain - I'm aiming to keep it that way.

13 comments:

  1. I like your water butt--is butt short for something? Also love your red bell shoes in the previous post. Do they keep you from sneaking up on mice and birds, then? ;-)
    ~ Monica

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  2. VP, Thanks so much for explaining this for me! I didn't want to seem impolite in asking what a water butt was, but you can imagine the images that were going through my head when I first saw that term:)
    I've always been interested in language and the different expressions used in English-speaking countries. I'm a big fan of Martha Grimes' mysteries, and it took me years to figure out what a digestive biscuit was or a jumper. Of course, that's still easier to catch on to compared to understanding teenagers' slang.

    Your water butt looks like a very practical solution, but I hope you can get gutters on your shed. And bravo to NAH for agreeing to a new water tank. I have a long list for my husband, Mr. Procrastinator, but it may take awhile to get them done.

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  3. I keep meaning to connect a water butt or 2 to the cottage's down pipes, but I an struggling to find any that arent too utilitarian; they stand out like sore thumbs on the white render. I know too fussy by half.

    You asked about how I was going to celebrate 50. The plan is to go to SA as it will then be their spring, and split our time between a jaunt around the Kruger National Park, and then onto Kirstenbosch and the Fynbos, which will hopefully be in full flower by then. All health permitting though, everything is on standby at the mo :(

    I love that you still have traditional celebrations in Chippenham, so often our culture seems to be disappearing. Its one thing I love about being here too, all the old English customs are protected, Wassailing and Mummers plays are fun in the New Year, as are the barmy Morris Men who dance up and down the A30 much to the consternation of commuters at the Christmas Fair and Market!

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  4. 'Allotment Warden'!

    Sounds like the chap in 'Dad's Army'!

    If he gets too pernickety he'll take the fun out of it.

    There are several allotment sites round here - and they each have a particular atmosphere.

    I like the ones which are relaxed without being overgrown. I thoroughly dislike those which are so neat and regimented they have become a vegetarian version of factory farming.

    There's more to growing vegetables than 'growing food'.

    Esther Montgomery
    ESTHER IN THE GARDEN

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  5. I've got an inadvertant water butt under a downspout; it's one of the big Jack Daniels casks sold (in halves) at local gardening stores for (major) container gardening. Reading your post, though, makes me realize that I should set one up on the north, where the water just goes where it wants to (horrors!) and where it would be in the shade, & less vulnerable to evaporation. (I don't have covers. Hmm. Now there's a project. As if I didn't already have plenty. Thanks, VP.
    --kate

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  6. My, my, this post is getting naughty with all this talk of "butts" and "racks." ;^) I'm so glad I don't have to deal with an "Allotment Warden." (Me & authority figures just don't mix.) Maybe you should offer the Warden chocolates & homemade bicuits at the next review.

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  7. My niece is American but she was born in England. Her school were doing a project on how to conserve resources so she told the class about our water butt - the teacher thought she was being rude and accused her of making it up. I had to take a photo and email it to her for the teacher to make an apology!!

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  8. I think you'll find this is a water butt...
    http://www.waterbutts.com/Butt/index.html

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  9. TGF - I don't think it's short for anything. Unfortunately the shoes aren't mine - could be an idea for the cats though!

    Rose - only too glad to help!

    Zoe - checkout the butt at the bottom of my post! Your trip sounds fab - much jealousy here. I hope they closed the A30 before they started Morris dancing!

    Esther - our site is usually very relaxing as it's usually only me there!

    Kate - I like the idea of your JD butt. They sometimes sell whisky casks over here for the same purpose.

    MMD - hmmm, must go and look up rack in my American dictionary...

    Matron - I love your story!

    HM - I've put a link for you back at your place...

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  10. VP, I suspect most dictionaries won't help with MMD's use of "rack"; you need a slang dictionary. But surely "Check out the rack on that babe" isn't exclusively American?
    --kate

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  11. Kate - thanks for clearing that one up!

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  12. Any time, VP. My store of crude Americanisms is yours to command.
    --Kate

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