Monday, July 9, 2012


Even if an efficient automatic irrigation system were an option I would have to turn it down. I love watering by hand. We don't generally plan summer holidays so are here when the garden needs daily watering. We tend to travel when the plants are in the steel grip of winter, when water is not needed.

At the end of these hot July days, when the air still feels like a cooling furnace, I stand outside for a long time with the hose and fill each pot until it is brimming. The roots suck up the water and the rest runs out. Then I fill each pot again. It takes some time. If the sun has passed the terrace already I amuse myself by sprinkling the leaves of the plants. I like to think that they enjoy it. It washes the unseen soot off.

After a long and hot trip to Staten Island yesterday (leaving one ferry behind the New York Mycological Society and catching up with them beside  a brown pond) we limped home to the delicious cool, dry air of the air conditioner, which we had left on for the black cat in his unzippable fur suit.

Vince poured cold drinks in the kitchen and we collapsed in our striped deck chairs on the roof to sip them, dabbling our hot feet in the cold sprinkler.

And then I came down and watered the terrace.


  1. I wondered what you were up to yesterday.

    I knew you weren't sitting around reading the newspaper.

    I was pretty sure it had to do with water.

    I love Brooklyn. Greener than my mean streets.

    We'll be back.

    xo Jane

  2. There is something totally calming about watering by hand. Even on the hottest,most humid evening i enjoy it. It's a chance to check In with each pot or space and assess how it's doing and to feel connected to it. Often my favorite hour.

  3. I must be losing my touch. I like watering when it feels like cool play, but not when it requires the hundred foot schlep 20 times with the water can. The garden fries, in our heat and drought, except where the air conditioners condense what little moisture there is out of this air.

  4. We are having the opposite problem - courgettes and strawberries are rotting in the rain! Funny old planet!

  5. Watering is theraputic for plants and people, my favourite thing to do! And its no good saying 'I'll just water this bed...' because it's addictive - I can't rest tell all have been sated :)

  6. Watering is meditative. Every morning I start the day with coffee and the watering can and give all the pots on the porch and deck a good drink to hold them through the Georgia heat. Multiple trips to fill the can but that's okay. Then in the evening - standing with the water hose and a slow stream to the base of the tomatoes, zinnias, sunflowers, and peppers. Time to inspect the plants for signs of trouble, new growth, new bugs and leave the rest of the day behind.

  7. We in the UK have the opposite weather to you - I don't think I have had to water once this year - the rain has been practically non-stop. But in normal weather conditions for summer there is nothing like wandering round can in hand - it is a sort of meditation time.


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