#SixOnSaturday: Endurance watering

We’re back at Waddesdon Manor for #SixOnSaturday today.

Watering was the dominant theme of my week this week, as it was in gardens across the UK during our little mini heatwave!

On Monday I was posted to the greenhouse where I spent the whole day literally just watering. I think it’s the first time since I started my internship that I’ve had sole responsibility for an area of the gardens department, and I was grateful that in this kind of weather there’s really not much that can go wrong when you’re watering!

With the exception of the bottom middle image and the top right, the images from this week’s collage come from my day spent working on the parterre on Tuesday.

The main task was to finish the summer bedding displays which meant planting pelagoniums into the outside beds and digging up and replanting salvias that weren’t quite in the right place! The weather on Tuesday – mid-20s C and sunny – obviously wasn’t ideal for this so watering once again became the focus of my time!

I have to confess that before I started working at Waddesdon I’d never really given a huge amount of thought to how one might go about watering that kind of garden. I think I had some hazy idea about hoses and outside taps but the reality is inevitably more complicated than that (although hoses and outside taps are still pretty vital!).

The two most formal parts of the gardens – the parterre and the aviary – have hidden irrigation systems, very similar to the kind that you see at football matches, with a system of pipework linking a number of sprinkler heads which appear as if by magic out of the ground.

These systems are excellent.

When they work.

Unfortunately, the irrigation system at the parterre hasn’t been working properly for a little while.

This wasn’t a major issue while we were getting semi-regular rain but this week was a different story.

So we had to initiate Plan B which involves attaching a bowser – basically a huge water butt – to a tractor, driving it from the garden department to the parterre, unravelling a very long, very heavy hose and threading it through the planting and then using the whole thing as a giant watering can!

The whole watering situation then reached its nadir on Wednesday when for boring reasons we couldn’t use the bowser so a colleague and I were reduced to filling watering cans from an outside tap to water the ornamental urns that punctuate the boundary of the parterre!!

Fortunately, by the time we’d got halfway through, the irrigation system had decided to play ball for a bit so we were at least saved from doing the whole lot!

I spent Wednesday afternoon in the aviary helping to lay out and plant up another summer bedding display, a job I think I’ll be helping to finish when I’m back next week.

That’s all for this week! Head to The Propagtor‘s blog to see what’s going on in other gardens in the UK and beyond! And happy gardening!


Twitter and Instagram: MySecretGard


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