Rain and Drains

No work on the shed stuff today: it's raining. After our excesses over the last two days it was a welcome change to lie in and rest our backs while listening to the pitter-pat of rain on the windows, and imagining the dripitty-drip of rain into the attic (ah, the joys of the old house).

This afternoon, Noel began work on a little project he's been doing off and on, removing ancient pipes from the walls. There's no real liability to leaving them there, but they run from the second floor to the basement, and we want to use the courseways to run electrical wiring. Most of the upstairs rooms have only one outlet, and the bathroom has none.

At some point, he opened the front door to find a strange woman eyeing my hydrangeas. She said they looked like they were dying (they are not; they're just very young and hello, it is late November, not June) and she did "plant rescue" and would take them away. Noel convinced her that we did not want that, but just to make it clear I sank the pots into the ground (in the rain, yay). I'm just glad he caught her before she walked off with all my plants.

Hydrangeas in the ground

Just to explain: the hydrangeas came as "bands," plants a couple of years old with very small root systems. They're cheaper that way, and tend to take to transplanting better. I repotted them to one-gallon pots in compost, and I'm waiting for them to develop larger root systems before planting them in the ground.

One of the questions people ask about the drainage basin project I did earlier this year is what the big deal is that called for all the earthworks. The big deal is all the water around the house. The more water around the house, the faster the sump fills up, and the more we pay to pump water out of the house and back into the garden. So I'd rather drain the water away from the house to begin with, for free.

We've built up the pathway (we finished it yesterday, just in time for the rain to start), and planted water-sucking plants in the driveway garden. The drainage basin takes water from the side yard and some of the orchard. Now we have to deal with the alley where we have the Fern Walk, some of the front, and the back wall.

Here's our major problem area this year: the back wall. I'm planning to dig a trench through there to run irrigation pipes into the orchard, so I think at the same time I will dig down deeper and put in some perforated pipe wrapped in landscape fabric, emptying into the drainage basin. That's decent encouragement for me to get that project done sooner than later.

Water behind the house

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posted by ayse on 11/26/06

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