Hanging Baskets and Saving Water

Published on 4 June 2006 in , ,

We’re in a drought situation. The reservoirs are not exactly in a good state and Thames Water have already instigated a hosepipe ban. So I confess to being in a bit of a quandary about whether we should have hanging baskets this year. After all they take up a lot of water.

In the end, I decided to make some up – after all, the bees usually like them and they make the place look nice – and as such, we set about yesterday collecting plants and assembling them.

Front Hanging Basket Balcony Hanging Basket

However if you’re going to have water guzzling plants in a drought year, then you’ve got to make a sacrifice.

First thing to do was to purchase some odd sounding ‘Swellgel’. This cunning little product takes in water and releases it later. Or something. It therefore reduces the need to water plants – in some cases by around 35%.

We’re also going to be much smarter about the water we waste. In the kitchen is now a bucket – well I say a bucket. It’s a bucket shaped plant pot from Ikea that isn’t currently in use. In there is going to be any cooking water or any other waste water that we would normally put down the sink – including any water we run off whilst waiting for the hot water to come through. Okay, it won’t do all our plant watering needs, but something is a start.

Then there’s the one that will probably freak some people out. It’s that mantra of “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”. Yes. The toilet.

Our toilet already has a small cistern so it uses less water than a standard toilet, but do we always need to flush it? The answer is probably no, so we’re going to try and not flush it as often. This is actually quite hard as a lifetimes habits have told me always to flush the loo, but if it saves water I can use on watering my hanging baskets, then try I must!

Of course if it comes down to standing pipes in the streets, or the water situation gets almost as bad, then the baskets will just have to be left to struggle with limited water, but we’ll see.

The other side effect of all this water saving is money – as we’re on a water meter, we should see our bill reduced slightly! And if that’s not an incentive to save water, I don’t know what is.