ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES





If a hosepipe ban has not come to your area yet, the likelihood is that it soon will. Every year the situation appears to be getting worse. It is worth thinking, not just for now, but also for the future, about ways you can save or recycle as much water as possible.
    One of the most sensible things to do is to check the weather forecast. How many times have you watered the garden, only to find that there is a downpour a few hours later? Water butts are a great way to conserve water. Many water boards are now offering them at a special price. Place containers at the end of gutters of buildings which have a slopping roof such as a shed, conservatory or greenhouse.
    You can also buy electric water butt pumps complete with hose fittings, which will give you sufficient pressure to run a hosepipe or a drip irrigation system from your water butt.
    Every time you take a bath you are using approximately 80 litres of water, some of which could be recycled to water the garden. Speak to your water board or local plumber to see if there is an effective way to channel off this water from the downpipe to your garden.
    Failing that, keep a bucket handy, although be cautious about consistently using water containing either bath salts or soapy bubble-baths on a continual basis. Do be careful about recycling washing-up water from your kitchen, as it is likely to have food particles in it.
    With grass, let it grow a little longer than usual before mowing, then raise the cutting height to 4 cms (1.5 inches), and leave the cuttings on the lawn. Surrounding plants with gravel will help reduce moisture loss and improve drainage.
    Using organic material such as wellrotted compost or farmyard manure dug well into the soil will not only enrich it, but will also improve its ability to retain water. A layer of organic matter or mulch will also help slowdown evaporation from the soil and will, at the same time, suppress weeds.
    Although it is important to keep seedlings moist, constant watering can do more harm than good to established plants.
    According to Cleve West, designer of The Saga Insurance Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show: “Frequent watering encourages roots to stay near the surface, whereas an occasional but thorough soaking will promote deep, healthy root growth”.
    He advises planting hardy and halfhardy plants with drought-tolerant perennials such as Spanish oat grass, yuccas, sempervivum (succulents), iris and verbascum. Silver, small hairy or leathery-leaved plants particularly have all evolved to reflect the sun and conserve moisture near the leaf surface. Herbs such as rosemary fall into this category.
    Where plants are in containers, try and keep them in shady and sheltered areas to avoid drying out in the sun. Move whatever you can into the shade during heat waves. Where possible, position hanging baskets over containers so that the water runs through and irrigates the plants below. Exposed gardens are particularly vulnerable to moisture loss. Hedges, screens and fencing will all help to reduce the evaporation from the soil. If you are planning a new patio or driveway it is worth investigating a sustainable drainage system.
    Bradstone’s have one on the market that collects and stores rainwater under the patio or driveway. The water is filtered through a geotextile membrane which can then be pumped out of the storage tank and reused.


For tips on conserving water www.beatthedrought.co.uk or Horticultural Trades Association www.the-HTA.org.uk Bradstone consumer helpline: 01335 372222 www.bradstone.com


  


 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES