IF YOU FOLLOW MY OTHER BLOG, over at Possum Lane, you will know how dry it has been here. So, that takes us to the subject of hoses. Now normally, I am a very frugal possum, but sometimes ya just gotta spend a little money. One thing I have never hesitated to spend money on is a hose. It is true, my place is not that big. 4 acres is tiny compared to lots of other people’s properties, but when you tend to spread your garden and plants out like I did, well, when it gets dry out there, it sometimes requires a lot of hose.
Years ago, I made a deal with our then mayor, John Willis, that if I bought the trees and paid to have them planted, the town would help take care of the long strip of land next to the road where I planted some crape myrtles, camellias and azaleas. I must say, it does look nice when coming into our town. People stop and admire the plantings and thank me for making their ride to work a little more beautiful. Now, John Willis knew I had spent right much time in a wheelchair, and by rights wasn’t even supposed to be walking, let alone cutting grass and mulching or watering plants along a tenth of a mile of road, so he made sure the young men working for the town kept the bank cut and looking decent. The town used to be very well kept back then. Our current mayor said in a public meeting that I hadn’t made that agreement with her (well, no, it had been made 8 years before she took office) so she was not going to honor that agreement which meant she wasn’t going to have the roadside leading into her town look good anymore. And so it doesn’t. But, I digress… the year I paid to have those young trees planted, it was also dry, very dry, just like it is now. Over the winter, I tried carrying water in a wagon behind my sit-down mower and dumping bottles of water on every tree every day for a month or so – then the mower died. Dontcha hate when that happens? When it was warm enough, I connected all my hoses together, I still only had about 200 feet, and that was about 300 feet short. So I bought a 250 foot hose on its own little crank up stand, added a few of my 50 foot hoses, my patched up 80 foot hose, and got water to all but the last 2 trees. I kept an old bucket back at the edge of the woods for carrying the water to them. I am hoping I don’t have to drag that long old hose back out, but if we don’t get some rain by this week-end, I might just have to do that. Lets hope my doctor gets me walking a little better first… I can’t see dragging 250 feet of hose while hanging onto my walker. Using it in the back yard isn’t so bad, but a tenth of a mile on uneven ground? No. The trees will have to die. That ought to look nice. Durn.
Anyway, not being able to walk real far has slowed down my ability to drag hoses even around to the things closer to the house, plants that are clearly going to die if they don’t get a drink pretty soon. So, I broke down and bought another hose. This time I bought a bright yellow one, because I plan on leaving it lay right there until I don’t need it anymore, but should it rain and we actually get any grass growing again that I actually have to get on the big old Deere and cut – well, I want to be able to see the hose before I run over it – or not. The old hoses that I have stretched out to the hydrangea are either out of the way or are over ground so barren I doubt we will ever have grass there again this year.
On the money spending side of things, I bought myself 2 luxury items earlier this year – back when it rained and there was a lawn to mow. I splurged on 2 hose boxes to wind the hose back up when I am done so it is not laying out where it can be tripped over (being green and blending in with the color of the grass we used to have) or where it would have to be moved every week when the big old John Deere ran thru… Or the little walk behind Murray, for that matter. Just thought it would make life easier and look better to boot! And it does. I am hoping they will go on sale soon so I can buy another one for out front where the hose runs along side the sidewalk. No problem there with the mower, and nobody uses the front door anyway unless it is someone you probably don’t want to see – hey, this is Down Home where your friends come to the back door and the cat rolls over to greet them!
Another cheapie but handy thing is this wreath holder… lets face it, what happens to them when the flowers are dead and, well, you know… the cemetery throws them in a pile and they land in the landfill. Notice the leaves are falling already? And it is just July? Anyway, this is the handiest thing for hooking the hose onto to gently spray garden areas, and especially if you have one of those small 4 foot square raised gardens where the plant’s roots don’t get to go down into the ground… ya gotta keep it wet. My other tomato plants are only about 3 feet tall – these are over 6 feet tall, but they have to be watered everyday.
And, as in an earlier post, at the end of the season, store your drained hoses in a big garbage can where they will be safe, out of the way, and ready for next year. And if you leave them in a roll away box, be sure to drain them first! Gosh, it is hard at 96 degrees to imagine the hoses freezing!