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Luckily here in Bournemouth we have never had a hosepipe ban not even in 1976, but I have always been careful with water, I've got four water butts, two of which are plastic dustbins with their lids turned upside down with holes in, and I try to grow plants that don't need a lot of water. I don't use the hosepipe too often and I never waste water watering the lawn to try and keep it green because how ever brown it gets it always comes back green in the end.
<span id="sample-permalink">I've just done a post about this on my blog as it will be effecting so many of us. I'm in the early stages of developing a new garden having moved house and plants that can really tolerate dry conditions are going to be high up on my wish list! Perhaps I should forget a traditional lawn and go for a wildflower one instead?http://www.alisonpike.com/blog/?p=414
Where I am living (North Coast of Ireland) we often get a drought in early to mid spring. The rest of the year the problem is usually too much water! I live half way up a mountain, and the results of drought are quite frightening. Last year, a spate of mountain fires did a great deal of damage to areas of Scientific interest both inland and along the coast. Our latest big fire eat up half of the mountain, igniting heather, gorse, and the underlying peat layers. In mountain areas like ours the fire brigade can't reach these fires with their equipment. My husband spent six and a half hours putting out a fire that would have extended the length of a town's high street! It is foolish to tackle such fires unless you have lots of experience, which fortunately he had already acquired while living in Africa. The most deadly aspect of such fires is during high and changeable winds, but even in calm conditions smoke inhalation is always a danger. The best way to deal with a mountain or scrub land fire is to prevent it from starting in the first place. In wild areas people should be extra sensitive to the possibility of inadvertently starting fires during drought - and be awaire that drought can occur at any time of year including winter! Remember that this is the time of year when dead grasses, leaves and heathers are in abundance. Roadside barbecues, or lighted cigarette ends carelessly tossed out of the car window can start fires, and if you live on the edge of such land you need to be extra careful that your garden fire does not spark nearby hedges etc. Farmers, too, need to resist the temptation to burn scrub land in order to clear it for grazing or agricultural use during general conditions of drought.
Adam, succulents are a good idea. Graptopetalums ( the Ghost Plant) go well with pelargoniums and are so easy to propagate from a leaf. See picture of mine ready to give me dozens.
I have water butts that are fed by my down pipes front and back of the house and a 3rd connected by a hose pipe to one of them which takes the overflow. I only use ecover which is safe to put on plants to wash dishes and in the Summer I use a plastic bowl to wash up and when cool I use that or siphon in to my watering can to use later. We are looking at a system to harvest bath water. I make tea in a pot and put any unused cold tea on roses. I mulch round plants, and put water retaining gel in pots/baskets.
My biggest problem is my pond as the water can evaporate quickly and needs topping up. any ideas there gratefully accepted.
I think people should be banned from filling swimming/paddling pools as last time we had a ban in the South east we had a hose pipe ban but people were still allowed to filll paddling pools-what a waste!
Cassie, to turn your raised bed into a potager should be quite simple and enjoyable. A potager is simply a decorative veg. garden so you do smart things ike weaving flowers for pollinating insects to get nectar through your vegetables. Make patterns with your veg. Each of my eight raised beds will have a wigwam with runnner beans and sweet peas growing up it and there will be lavender plants at the two corners by the middle path which will give a very fragrant walk up through the beds. Alternate red lettuce with green lettuce, thread a snake of annual flowers through the veg. Dot verbena bonariensis through to tower over the smaller veg. Get the idea?
Kathryn.brock. The water rate for unmetered dwellings is based on the old general rate which was probably quite small for a small flat so you were having cheap baths. Ihave the opposite as my bungalow was highly rated so , now I am on a meter ,I am saving a great deal every year.