It isn't easy to water all the new plants in the front garden.The nearest spigot is in the garage below, so leaving the tap open and trusting the valve on the hose nozzle is out of the question.
Even trailing the hose under the garage door and up to the garden, so skippy little children can run down and turn on the spigot involves leaving the garage door jimmied so the hose is not crushed.
One day it came to me: a rain barrel. The downspout is right there. I spent a day researching how to have a rain barrel that was not a blue tub. My heart was more than a little set on a barrel that looked like a barrel.
Charm and practicality did not come together. I already have the finest downspouts in the universe; that pipe runs down the side of the house, under the driveway below, and out to the ravine, fail-safe for twenty-five years.
Jan and I went shopping and found this one. The downspout does not terminate in the barrel, the barrel ties into the downspout.
Tom installed the barrel over the weekend, and it received his seal of approval. There is a clever gate that closes when the barrel is full and lets the rain water continue its course out to the ravine and the creek below.
After three weeks of rain we are stuck in a week of hot and humid, with no forecast of rain until week's end. Tom couldn't wait that long; he filled the barrel from the well and Laura and I gave it a test run yesterday.
It is so hot we needed to water again tonight to keep all our transplantees happy. But, five days of hot and humid just turned into a mighty fine thunderstorm, and it's raining in our rain barrel!
A song of my mother's:
Playmate, come out and play with me
And bring your dollies, three
Climb up my apple tree
Holler down my rain-barrel
Slide down my cellar door
And we'll be jolly friends forever more
But she couldn't come out and play
It was a rainy day
With tearful eye she breathed a sigh
And I could hear her say
I'm sorry, playmate, I cannot play with you
My dolly's got the flu, boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo
Ain't got no rain-barrel, ain't got no cellar door
But we'll be jolly friends forever more