deep watering

the remnants of the rose garden, this morning.

This post is a testament to deep watering.  You see, we do not have any sprinklers here.  Well, I take that back, we do have 2 sprinkler heads in the rose garden that are manually operated.  So knowing we would be gone for a week I wanted to see just how the garden would hold up with really deep watering.  I knew the temps would be in the mid to upper 90's so these pictures prove that deep watering is the way to go.  Not one thing died or even wilted.

Even the boxwood garden is still alive.

Remember this bed we he dug up?  It looks remarkably well.

This is a shot of the house pulling into the driveway.  I was practically hanging out the car window to see if the hydrangea's had made it.

I knew if these survived everything else would be okay.

and they did.

So basically what I did was set the hose on a slow dribble and moved it around for about 3 days prior to us leaving.  I did this all day long.  I'm pretty sure I saved water doing it this way.  And it was easy. We have been trying to decide whether or not to install a sprinkler system since we moved in 2 1/2 years ago.  This is the first house I've lived in that doesn't have one.   Having to hand water forces me out into the garden and I see things that I probably would have missed if we had sprinklers.  Once fall and winter hit I stop watering all together.   So for now I remain the chief cook and garden waterer. 


  1. Hey welcome home. That's exactly how I am after time away, looking to see how the garden survived. Our trip to the beach in July ended with GG and myself walking around the garden with a flashlight, at midnight, to see how it had survived. Gardeners are crazy.

    Off to see Eat,Love,Pray. Hmmm. Hope it's not cheesy. Have you been?

  2. Dear Janet, I could not agree more with all that you say here and the pictures of your delightful garden are, indeed, proof that deep watering works [if such proof was needed]. It is always difficult to convince people that it is far better to give plants during times of drought one really good drink rather than lots of little sips.

    Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my latest posting to which I have replied. I am signing myself as a 'Follower' in order not to miss out on your fun and intriguing postings.

  3. Welcome Home....hope that your holiday was wonderful and restorative.
    I feel the same sense of elation when returning home to see the garden flowers and plants have not perished in my absence...and hydrangeas are such greedy drinkers!
    I do not have a sprinkler system and we have water restrictions;
    hand watering only during the daytime
    sprinklers between 7-10 am 0r 7-10 pm...
    grass watering only 2 days a week, assigned by the district based on your address.

    To water deeply and less often has been proven and it is so evident here in your beautiful garden that it works.

    Do you have a way of drying your hydrangeas that works? My results are hit and miss...

  4. jane - i'm planning on sneaking in at 3 today.
    let's compare notes.

    edith - i'm glad i found you too. thank you for following.

    leslie - i have no tricks. last year i just cut them when they were starting to dry and they are still in great condition. i'll try that again in the fall.

  5. Great tip about deep watering, Janet. What do you do about pots? Since we rent, all my garden is in pots.

    I loved your description 'hanging out the car window' to see if the hydrangeas had made it. Hydrangeas are one of my favourites, although there are so many beautiful plants and flowers it's hard to choose.

    I have some buxus hedging cuttings which are growing well and I want to plant them out like you have, the topiaries in pots.

    The flag on your house is wonderful. I love that about America. If I stuck a New Zealand flag on my house people would think me odd. We don't blow our trumpet loudly enough here, which I think is a shame.

  6. Janet,
    Welcome home! It's always such a pleasure to see images of your garden. It's all so beautiful and I just love your boxwood garden! We had sprinklers installed inside our fence (where are flower garden is) and although it has been convenient, we've been a bit frustrated with how much maintenance they need.
    I have some potted plants I do need to water with the hose daily and you're so right, going out everyday makes you notice those special little things.
    Our vegetable garden is also manual and I think we linger out there more because of it too.
    Again, welcome back to your beautiful home!

  7. I always find it amazing how the garden changes over the course of just one week. It's fun to walk around and visit everything after being away. Glad to see everything did so well.

  8. fiona - i did the same thing with the pots. i let each of them slowly fill for a long while the night before we left. they get morning sun only and are in shade the rest of the day so i know that helped.

    trina - yes, i know what you mean. larry was always fixing broken sprinklers or unclogging them so he really is against a system. plus he has me to do the watering.

  9. Dear Janet, Welcome home. A good feeling to know you don't need a sprinkler system after all. Just one more thing to get and maintain. Seems like watering is sort of soul satisfying a gives one a good feeling. The garden looks beautiful. Love the rose trees along the drive, perfect! Hugs, Joyce

  10. joyce - it seems like a lot of the things we think we need to make our lives more convenient only wind up getting in the way or actually become a nuisance.

  11. Hi J
    Your garden is fab. I believe in a deep water too- do you use mulch? It's the Australian way.We were on water restrictions for years that banned sprinklers and hosing- we kept stuff alive by putting buckets in the shower and diverting washing machine water. It was very dicey and a lot of stuff died. They've eased up a bit now- we can hose and sprinkle sometimes. I love all your flowering plants and well done with creating that bed without buying seeds of plants- genius!

  12. ff - yes, mulch is essential in these parts. and the bed grew in so fast and next year it will only be better, thanks for noticing.

  13. Hi beautiful all that changes in your garden......lovely pictures.....wishing you a happy gardening week...enjoy love Ria...

  14. Janet- your garden is enchanting. I am so envious! I long for a similar garden of my own one day. I hope you're enjoying all that summer has to offer xxx

  15. Your house and gardens are lovely. The deep watering info is much appreciated!

  16. This "deep watering" post AND comments that followed were helpful to me. Seeing your pictures, I can believe you were VERY thrilled to come home to your lovely house and garden!

    I'm beginning to enjoy OUR yard more now that there is a hint of relief from the heat and humidity....I look forward to autumn with its changes and special beauty and reading the posts of fellow gardeners.

  17. Oh look at your perfect and gorgeous garden Janet - I expect you were pleased to be home there amongst your beautiful plants and shrubs... Love the boxwood particularly and so pleased all survived the high temps too. x

  18. Janet, the flag caught my eye! In Austria flags are mostly present around the national holiday in october. It is the day the last soldier from the occupation left Austria and Austria was "free". The flags are mostly on public buildings, hardly on private houses.
    I am not familiar with the costum with the flag at the front door. In US-documentaries I noticed lots of flags after 9/11. Is the flag your way of the supporting the troops? What is the meaning of flag to you? Besides it is a really beautiful flag you US citizens have! :)

  19. Your garden is beautiful. I've wondered if you water?...don't know why that has been a question I wanted to ask you? Your new beds with the standards, the boxwood topiaries, everything looks like something out of a magazine.

    I have spent countless hours trying to figure out the best way to water my gardens. I've tried different DIY installations of sprinkler systems. I always end up getting soaking wet, and it never really does the job right. I talk about how I'm the only woman in the world that dreams of a sprinkler system rather than luxury gifts. :)


  20. Welcome Home!
    It's a sign of good things that your gardens survived while you were gone. :)
    If I don't water everyday, my flowers turn crispy!
    I can't believe how well the flowers look and filled in in the area you dug up. You must definately have the gardening touch ... I'm just the wannabe!
    Did you cook yourself a big meal when you got home? :)

  21. paula - it is quite common here for people to fly flags all the time. i put mine out on memorial day and take it down on labor day. so it's a summer thing for me.

    sarah - that's how i watered too. if i didn't things would fry or wilt. so i was wary that this would work. but now i'm a convert.

  22. Good morning! Just had to say I'm still lovin' your RED cottage! Allegra

  23. Hi Janet,

    Welcome home...Love your house and garden. I have to hand water alot as well, every day when it is hot. I had a problem with plants surviving in our retaining wall until my friend told me about Moisture Control potting soil by Miracle Gro. (I don't like their fertilizer, too many salts in it) but their soil is great for containers, hanging baskets, etc. I also use those Soil Moist granules for my hanging baskets. They seem to work.

    By the way, I just saw a headline on AOL today that the Wynn hotel is going to add vegan dishes to it's menu. So if you are ever in Vegas...


  24. allegra - enjoy it while it's red!

    linda - thanks for the heads up on the wynn. we pass through there often on our way to utah.

  25. All our plants are drought tolerant. No lush greens here, only pricklies. :)

    Your desert rat sister.

  26. Oh yes! I does make a difference, doesn't it??? My little garden in the back yard has suffered this year...I've been sooo busy. We do have a sprinkler system, but that corner likes lots more water. It's pitiful looking.

    Yours looks just great..and your house is adorable.

    Warm blessings,

  27. I'm loving the gorgeous garden, deep watering sounds like it works really well!

  28. I just came back from a week in Cape Cod and my garden looked very dry... even though someone was supposed to be watering it. I can't get my hydrangeas to last past the end of July... What's your secret? Just found your blog by the way and love it. Lx

  29. After being away from home, the first thing I do is go out into the garden and see how it fared without me. I neglect it when I'm home (at least when temps are in the 90's), but yet I still think it can't survive without me. Yours did remarkably well. I am envious of the California climate and its condiciveness to luscious gardens. Welcome back.

  30. the automatic irrigation systems is one of the best things that developed. it's not just proving the growing crops it's even saving lot of water! recommended!


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