27 April 2021

Project water butt: part one

When I bought the house, I noticed it had a water butt. Very useful! But what was weird about it is that it had no influx of water. It just stood there, more then a metre away from where the gutters drained the roof. That seemed weird. Should the gutters not drain into the water butt? That's the whole point, isn't it? And I had figured I should change that one day, but I had loads of more important things to do than worrying about relatively trivial things like this. So the butt stayed where it was for three years.

As I had been sowing flowers, and had spread some grass seed where I had bold patches, and had bought new plants for my new raised bed, I had a lot of watering to do. And that meant I was quickly emptying it. And I thought maybe this was the time then to move it. When it was almost empty, and the remaining water was very dirty, I emptied it into the drain. And then I had to find a way to place it closer to the drain, and raise it high enough above the ground so that little tap on it would have some use. I had initially thought of blocks of slate (of course), but then I thought of the chimney pot (or whatever it is) I had found in the chaos of the garden. It didn't seem to be good for anything else, so it was worth the try. I wanted to increase the surface area for the water butt though, so I figured some slate could go on top. When I had been fighting chaos in the upper garden, I had also removed some ferns, and these had revealed some buried pieces of slate. These might actually do the job! So I stacked these on top. They were not sufficiently equal in thickness, though, so I went down to the waterside to find an additional piece of slate to make up the difference. And I found one!

I moved the rhododendron into the corner where the water butt had been, and created my special water butt table. It seemed stable! And it was high enough for my big watering to fit can underneath. And now it was right next to the guttering.

I threw a few watering cans full of river water in it. This is North Wales; if I would not weigh it down it might blow away in the next gale. And so far I am happy with my setup! And then I will see when I have time for a stage II: attaching it to the guttering…

  its original position

 its new position; high enough to fill a watering can, and close to the gutter

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