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News from the Moble Garden – Water, Water, Water

October 11, 2019
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I have a snapshot of my desk as I sit down to write to you this week: two piles of books on each side of the keyboard, a hat, three green dripper heads, a pair of yellow multi-grips, a short piece of tie-wire and the little butterfly I collected from the garden a few weeks ago, still here beside me.

Obviously, I am one of those fanatical dusters who pick things up, wipes underneath and places things just as they were; that explains the butterfly remaining in such excellent condition. The books are interesting, as most books are. One pile includes the Oxford Dictionary, my school edition I should think, a book of garden articles by Vita Sackville-West and the Victorian Flower Dictionary. The other pile has Harari’s Sapiens and The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley. One is on the evolution of Humankind, the other on Elizabeth Gould, John Gould’s wife. Both are interesting; in particular, Elizabeth Gould was a woman ahead of her time. What an exciting era, to be painting and recording the offerings of The New World.

We have shared the most amazing few days with family and friends to remember and celebrate a dear friend. This morning, all is quiet on this western front and the garden, which had been splashed with people and chatter for days, is once again splashed with its own efforts and the chatter of birds. I daresay the birds were chattering along with us, probably screeching at each other so they could be heard over our racket. Even the naughty Jack Russels are sleeping soundly on their chairs today.

An early morning round revealed a few thirsty patients here and there, after a few days of cool, drying wind. The cool temperature can bely the dryness I think, it is easy to forget the watering. We shall have to re-programme the watering system to keep pace and I will re-evaluate some of the watering set-ups in the garden beds before the real heat arrives.

 I have given up on the weeper hose system I installed with great expectations a few years ago. As with most drippers, our creek water clogs them up, so they deliver unevenly, evident by some very dry areas. My garden fork seems to find them under the mulch as well, resulting in a geyser- like effort in one spot and nothing beyond. Better a weeper line than the usual 63mm poly-pipe effort I find, however.

So, my next ‘big thing’ are mini-wobblers. We have been trialling them here for a while now, the Impatient Gardener has quite a few lines of them in-situ and working well. I know this as you can bog your pushbike at her front gate at any time. We have used the bigger ones for years with great success, providing the risers are well staked and do not become unbalanced.

I must say, the mini-wobbler is impressive. It works well off shared pressure and shrugs off the creek water/ant problems. They are limited to areas where you require 360°coverage, so not suited along the house unless you are wanting your verandah washed down every night. You may need a riser in denser planting as they will be obstructed by stray leaves and stems but then, aren’t we all? Mr.Moble and I installed a new line of them outside our bedroom, in an area that was always hard to keep watered. I think I have delivered record rainfall to this small patch in the weeks since, we just love turning the timer on and watching the display. The only disappointing factor about an automatic watering system is that watering happens at night, when you can’t watch the action.

In other parts of the garden, I will scrub out all the filters in the sprays, as the warmer weather will be unforgiving with regards to poor filter hygiene. Our creek water demands this cleaning task every couple of weeks, not a bad job on a hot day really when a small drenching is always welcome. The rest of the garden will be filled in with the endless shifting of the old Capital sprinklers, my favourite and we even have a few that have been mended with steel plates underneath in true Moble style. I treasure the old heavy ones I have inherited here.

 Of course, they may not compete on an artistic level with Mr.Moble’s Swirling Water sprinkler, an entrancing and beguiling thing of great watery beauty with its circles of copper and impressive hydro patterns. However, while it demands a solo appearance with full pump pressure to water a rather limited area, the old Capital just sprays it out, getting on with the job.

 Horses for courses, as with all things. Just don’t forget to turn off the tap,

The Moble Gardener.