Category Archives: drip irrigation


It’s been over a decade

Since we have had

This kind of heat.

Generally I try not complain about the weather.

After all, my grandmother drove a conastoga wagon

From Iowa to Oklahoma when she was 18

During the summer.

What have I got to complain about!

Yet, somehow this feels different.

It is unrelenting.

I think we are on week 4 or 5

Of most days well over 100.

Keeping the garden alive

Can be a full time job

In years like this

If you haven’t prepared for it.

There are two things I did by instinct

That help my garden survive.

Granted not everyone wants a full blown perennial garden.

But adding perennials to your flower beds

Will save you time, money, water and worry.

Because perennials intend to survive

More than one season

They are more deeply rooted

Meaning they can take the slings and arrows

That nature is throwing these days.

Some even thrive on it.

So right now these things are not just surviving

But are actually happy in my garden.

And providing all the nector

The flock of buzzing pollinators living with us

Seem to need.

Happy perennials are Maxmillion Sunflower

Purple Coneflower, Tall Garden Phlox, Gloriosa Daisy,

Veronica Spicata and Sunny Border Blue and Verbena Bonariensis.

All of these not only come back but also spread.

No perennial gives more than Annabelle Hydrangea

And her cousin Incrediball.

Then there are the self seeding annuals

Zinnia, Sunflower, Cleome and the ever present Cockscomb.

These are the foundation of my high summer garden.

Other plants may bloom a little but these are the staples.

Even in this heat they only require water about every 5 days.

That, of course, is with drip irrigation.

Fifteen plus years ago when we built my garden

I ordered a really large roll of inline emitter drip line

From Dripworks.

1,000 feet of coiled drip line was like a giant snakey octopus

All over my backyard.

Once it was softened by the sun

And put into place

It has been the lifeline of my garden.

I connect the line to two faucets at opposite ends

Of the back of the garden.

We are lucky to have a well.

I turn them both on at once

And let them slowly drip for several hours.

That’s right.

I want the water to go deeply

To the low roots of even the biggest plant.

The water will draw the roots even deeper

Helping the plant survive

The 114 degrees predicted for next Tuesday

And the two weeks near zero

That will surely come next February.

I don’t know whether plants are like people

Or people are like plants.

But I do know that without my deep roots

And firm foundation

The last 2 1/2 years would have been

Even more difficult.

For me and my garden.



Filed under Annabelle Hydrangea, Bees, Bugs, Bumblebee, drip irrigation, Garden Planning, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Gloriosa Daisy - Rudbeckia, HELIANTHUS, Maximillian Sunflower, Perennials, Purple Coneflower - Echinacea, self seeding annuals, Sunflowers, Tall Garden Phlox, Uncategorized, Veronica Spicata, Zinnia

Mid Season

Yesterday was the first Saturday in a long time

That I spend the whole morning in my garden.

I didn’t dash to the farmer’s market

Didn’t run flowers to the church for Saturday Manna

I was selfish.

I started early in the sunshine

And as the heat came on

I followed the shade.






It’s mid-season here on the plains

We have an 8  – 9 month growing season.

So that makes mid- July just about the middle

Of the time between first and last frosts.

It’s too hot to transplant.

So maintenance becomes the routine.

But…mid-morning a friend came through my gate.

Hydrangeas were on her mind.

Her’s are planted under a Magnolia tree

A giant Magnolia tree.

Her Hydrangea on the other hand have

What we diagnosed as “failure to thrive”

We think the Magnolia is a bit greedy with the water.

And likely nutrients too.

So the solution for now is auxiliary water

In the form of a soaker hose at the base of the Hydrangeas

Turned  on Oh So Slowly.

This should allow the water to go deeply into the root zone.

And not run off.

It’s worth a try.

I’m going to drop by soon and see if we can’t find some more hospitable homes for them.

She and I are close in age.

We are definitely at the same stage of life.

Empty nest

Worked a lot

Volunteered a lot

So what comes next.

She’s seeking

So, it occurs to me once again

That gardens do reflect our lives.

If we pay attention.

My garden is full of life

Here in the middle of the season.

Just like my friend.

They both have much left to give.

And hopefully time to give it.

So how do we re-arrange our lives.

Cutting out the stuff that overgrows

And crowds out the good things.

Even maybe shades them out completely.

Keeping extraneous thing cut back – pruned – deadheaded.

To let in the light.

It’s a challenge.

And a continual effort

To keep our gardens

And our lives

Going where we are to go.

Glad I have a garden and friends to share in the journey.





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Filed under Bouquets, Dead Heading, drip irrigation, Garden Planning, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Gardening;Perennials, Hydrangea, Uncategorized


A single H. Macrophyllia Endless Summer Hydrangea Bush

A single H. Macrophyllia Endless Summer Hydrangea Bush

Nature has a way of evening things out.

Last year my Hydrangeas bloomed

And fried within days.

It was sad

Oh so sad.

This year is Hydrangea Heaven.

I’ve seen banks of Hydrangeas on Cap Code.

They inspired me to plant my own.

But never did I dream that they would put on such a show.

All over this part of the country

Hydrangeas are blooming gloriously.

And making up for last year.

Thank you.

Now I realized that in my short 1 + years of blogging

This is the third blog about Hydrangeas.

In previous blogs I’ve told you

Where to plant

Morning sun afternoon shade

If possible.

How to water


And what fertilizer


If you want the long version you can go back to May and July blogs of last year.

So this year I’m going to just enjoy.

I do want to report that I’ve been cutting like mad this week

Sharing them with

A new mother

A bride and groom for their wedding

Bucketsof Wedding Hydrangea

Buckets of Wedding Hydrangea

Which I love doing

Since my friend Martie did me the same favor 8 years ago.

Memorial flowers for the church

In memory of the real lady of this house

Whose name was Ivy.

As well as table decorations for

Saturday Manna

and a Sunday church picnic.

But isn’t that the point of all of this.


I love an abundance mentality.

There’s plenty for everyone

If we simply share.

Hope you will share yourself with someone this week.



Filed under Bouquets, drip irrigation, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hydrangea, Manure, Wedding Flowers



Gardening is a teacher – a kind of life coach – before we knew they existed.

If you listen to the pace of nature you will learn.

Not just about gardening but about life.

It will teach you to be more observant of details.

To appreciate small miracles and big surprises.

But most of all it will teach you patience.

Garden View Year 1


There is a saying about perennials.

 The first year they sleep.

The second they creep.

And the third they leap.

It’s true.

There is really very little you can do to move them along.

So we must simply learn to be patient.

In time you will realize that the years have gone by and your garden is full if not overflowing with growth that you have nurtured.

A few patient years later.

There are however things that you can do to help the process along.

Take the time in the beginning to prepare the soil well.

We’ve talked about this before.

Add compost, chopped leaves, manure and a little peat moss to make sure that you create a place where plants truly can grow.

I continue to add these things to keep the soil rich but the beginning of life of a garden is when you can really do the best job of building a good home. 

Next comes your chosen method of watering.

Now, I know this is not nearly as much fun as buying and planting but it is important for many reasons.

All of us should be continually aware of our water consumption – no matter how high the water table and how easy it is to get your own well.

Water is in short supply on this planet. 

Using it wisely is simply the only responsible choice.

That is the moral reason why I love drip irrigation systems.

But the truth is it’s really great for the plants as well.

Not to mention how easy it is to use.

You may have noticed black hoses in some of my previous pictures.

Emitter hoses in front bed.

That is my wonderful drip system. 

It runs throughout my garden and makes it unbelievably simple to water then entire garden.

I simply lift the handle on two faucets and walk away.

Here’s how it works.

The black hoses are ½” tubing with emitters inside the hose.

You can order them with 9”, 12” or 18” spacing. 

Your other choice is ½ gallon per hour or 1 GPH.

As I recall mine have 12” spacing with 1GPH.

The entire system comes from a company called Dripworks.

Unfortunately, it is not sold at retail in this part of the country, but can be ordered online at

The kindly people there will even help you design your system and figure out how much emitter tubing you need and additional fittings, etc.

After laying more feet of this than I care to admit, John completed the project.

A four-way splitter was attached to the faucet. 

Then he put female fittings at the end of each section of emitter tubing.

The ends were then capped.

There you have it.

A big backyard perennial garden watered deeply – completely by turning on two faucets. 

What geniuses these people are.

And the best part.

The water goes into the ground – not evaporated into the air.

Or on the leaves of the plants where it would only encourage nasty fungal diseases.

Everyone wins – you gotta love that!

But remember – this is a slow drip.

You want it to water over a period of time.

Overnight in the case of my large beds.

So you have to be patient.

Just barely turn it on – a slow drip that waters deeply drawing the roots deeper into the ground where they will more readily survive the drama of today’s unpredictable weather.

Remember the week in early February where we went from -4 to 80 degrees!

Deeply rooted plants will take that kind of torture and the extreme heat that is sure to come this summer.

The other important thing to remember about drip irrigation is you don’t water as often. 

In an average year I only water my big perennial bed about once a week during the growing season.

After all the water is going where it is needed so you don’t have stand there and spritz it a little every day.

Patience…a quality that comes naturally to some and is a lifetime struggle for others.

With gardens it’s worth – shall we say – “cultivating” this quality!!!

So…this week stroll through nature.

Take it all in, patiently.


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Filed under drip irrigation, Gardening;Perennials, patience