This one’s all about water: the lack of it, re-using it, waiting for it.
We’ve had a searing September. In this part of the world, all temperature records have been broken for the month, and there’s been hardly any rain. Bushfires are on a sharp increase, and despite the discomfort and inconvenience of endless rain and towering humidity, we all need it. It looks like the next two days will bring some if the normally-reliable weather forecast is to be believed. I’m a bit torn: my plants need it, the farmers need it, we all need it, but it means I won’t be able to dry laundry on the line because of the humidity, and I’ll have to use the dryer, which I hate. It’s so non-green. And I suspect if there’s enough rain, our solar hot water will need boosting, another source of chagrin.
This isn’t the big Wet yet. That’s still a way off, although it should by rights be starting now. It brings its own excitements: flooding, mould everywhere, DampRid flying off the shelves in the hardware stores, and a permanent umbrella in my handbag.
And the news from the Gardens of Chiconia? The flame tree is definitely going to drop all its adult leaves. This is OK, it’s deciduous, and the baby leaves at the end of each branch are powering out and growing almost visibly to the naked eye. The passionfruit likes its new spot and has stopped drooping, the YT&T is reserving judgement and the star jasmine is looking a little thoughtful… By which I mean most of the flowers have dropped and it’s concentrating on survival. I think if we do get rain, I’ll get out there with a fork when I get home from work (yes, folks, I do actually occasionally go to an office with a desk and computer and work for pay) and turn over some more soil. Otherwise I’ll have to run the sprinkler to soften things up, which grates on my water-conserving soul. There are a few plants still in pots, waiting on me to turn over the soil before they can go in: a shell ginger, a monstera deliciosa, an aspidistra, a gardenia, and a couple of others. I still have to find someone who has some really good cannas: I want brilliant colours, variegated leaves, lots of quick show. The search continues.
I may have to persuade the Husband to shower standing in a tub, so I can reuse the water for the garden. That’ll be interesting. I did it for years myself when I lived in Melbourne, so it’ll be no pain to start again. If I was going to be really green again I’d recycle the laundry water too, but that’s a tricky subject: the Husband drives a huge double-barrel fuel tanker, delivering diesel to the mines out west. His work clothes are always diesel stained and filthy, and I can’t run that stuff over the plants. I need to use strong detergent to get the clothes clean (the ‘green’ ones simply don’t shift the grease and diesel), and the plants won’t like that either. Other washes (sheets, towels, etc) would be OK, but it would take some ingenuity to divert the water from the laundry drain to a wheeled container to get it to the plants, and it would have to be used right away or it would start to smell. Plus you can’t use it for food plants, only the decorative stuff. We’re talking strictly small scale recycling: I don’t have the money or space to install a proper grey water recycling system, and it’s not really warranted. Let’s see how much longer it is before the Wet starts.
Just read this back and laughed to myself. A woman from the damp, misty British Isles, land of the low grey cloud, is pining for rain….