Monday, 9 May 2011

To water or not to water?

So many of the flowers in my garden are peaking earlier than they normally do, no doubt due to the extraordinarily warm and dry weather. What worries me is that there will be a poor show in midsummer if everything is burnt out by the end of June! I have chosen plants which will peak in midsummer to coincide with my very generous two month summer holiday (one of the benefits of working at an independent school!). I've taken to dragging out the dreaded hosepipe in an attempt to keep things going. Am I right to do this or should I just go with nature and accept the fate that the weather has in store for my precious plants?

I'd be interested to hear any views on this. I have water butts and make good use of them, but Harry the Hosepipe has to come out to play during dry spells, I just can't bear to watch my plants suffer!


  1. Will you have water restrictions again in the summer ahead?

  2. Welcome to the slippery slope of irrigating the garden. Whatever you do, if you have trees, deeply water them. Most will not tolerate drought. Perennials can tolerate the stress better by going dormant.

  3. E.E., we've just heard there will be no restrictions this year, despite the dry weather we've had. Apparently the reservoirs are still pretty full.
    Susan, thanks, that's good advice!

  4. Martin, do water them, they will thank you for it and you won't regret it :)

    Very few gardens are designed to be genuinely drought resistant (best sample is Beth Chatto's garden) but for most irrigation is essential. Nothing wrong with watering. BTW, if you're on meter you can get a discount from your supplier by writing to them about how much of your water consumption is used for watering the garden.

  5. It is really odd when you say that there is no rain in England. I would water my plants in the case like this, while they are still growing. When they are mature, they will probably withstand the dry spells better. Luckily, we have had some generous showers every month here in Croatia.. I use to collect rainwater and use it when the water supplies are so low that we have to save it.