Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Righting the Rain Barrel

Dried mud-coated landscape fabric "carpet
"Sweep and mop the garden paths" was not on my list.  But I did it anyway.  I'm not OCD, but convincing the woman walking by on the path (rather quickly, I might note, saying only "Hi.") would have been difficult.

Things I get to do today included, however, checking out the rain barrel.  But it all started here: Some years ago landscape fabric was placed between the garden beds as weed control. Changes in the garden had left slimy puddles in the paths and borders of weeds. A willing weekend guest offered his outdoor services, and we went to work, pulling up all the fabric, leveling the surface underneath, folding the fabric "inside out," and tacking it back down.  The bottom side of the fabric had a thin coat of mud on it.  How that could happen in Oregon is no mystery.

Barrel, listing slightly to the left,
leaking it contents into buckets

Here's where I get to vindicate myself.  I am totally fine with the mud on the path carpet.  As it dries on a sunny day, I'm OK with the dusty dirt.  But the rain barrel was listing to one side, and we had already had soil shear failure this past week when my rhubarb leaf bird bath tipped over.  If the rain barrel goes over, the damage is real.
Empty, plumb and ready for rain

Righting the rain barrel means it has to be drained first.  Using the available hose on the barrel tap was so slow that the predicted rain would fill it up before all the water had dribbled out.  I decided to let it flow directly into buckets.  But what to do with 55 gallons of water when nothing in the yard is thirsty?  I sloshed it on the garden paths--all seven of them--and broomed them down while the next bucket filled. I was just finishing up when the woman walk hurriedly by.

Swept and mopped.
Ready for bare feet in the summer

Perhaps there should have a sign on the fence that says:


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