Rumour has it that East Anglia is fast approaching a drought. We could even be experiencing a drought now, in March. So come April, we may well be subject to a hosepipe ban. I’m not particularly fussy about any lawned areas – in years gone by, our lawn has been fried to a crisp, only to recover to a glorious green carpet by autumn time. But I am a bit ashamed to admit that my vegetables and container-grown flowers and crops do rely on our hosepipe.

One of our many ‘To Do’ jobs for the last couple of years was to hook up all of our gutter downpipes with water butts. My vegetable patches are ill-planned as they’re about as far away from the house as you can get, so using a water butt means traipsing back and forth with a pair of sloshing watering cans. But ho hum, such is life. It’s no hardship, just inconvenient. I’m currently awaiting the arrival of a slim water butt for the greenhouse, which is situated adjacent to the veg patches and will offer an easy ‘quick fix’ of a summer evening.

But our water issues go beyond the hosepipe issue. Recently, we received our updated water bills, with sewerage costs almost akin to the cost of actual drinking water usage. I just don’t get it. As we’re NOT on a water meter, we pay as much as the family of five down the road, despite there being only two of us here. So we’re seriously considering going on a water meter to see if we can bring our water bills down. But that in itself would probably mean we need to take a serious look at our water usage. I am a serial bath taker (soothing for bad backs and aching joints), and we have a power shower. We are probably quite greedy when it comes to water, and it would be interesting to account for what we actually use, and simply what the water companies just ask us to pay, based on an estimate.

Whatever happens, we will be watching our water consumption much more closely this summer, and figuring out how to reduce and recycle where possible. And part of my “water plan” will also involve a wildlife pond – I’m determined to have some source of water for wildlife in our little patch other than our bird baths, so will be doing some reading of this bargain that I picked up today…

RHS water in a Small Garden


  1. Ugh! I feel your pain Lucy! My veg garden is a long old trip with watering cans too, my jeans are usually soaked through by the time I’ve finished and my arms feel like lead. It always feel like a chore so I really should get my act together and connect a water butt to the greenhouse.

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