Saturday, July 17, 2010


Day eight of the hosepipe ban; the ninth day of torrential rainfall. Still, it's good for the garden.

I nipped out between showers and pruned back a couple of roses that had been flattened by Thursday night's deluge. Much to my delight I found some more seedlings of long-lost friends -- Echiums and California poppies -- and was also quietly astonished to find that the bottlebrush bush that I had written off as a Winter loss may still not have any leaves on it but has managed a bunch of flowers. I was very pleased. Much to my chagrin, I find that the rambling rose that I spent two years chopping down and digging out has risen from the grave. I have to be firm: it's a heartrendingly beautiful rose but there just isn't room for anything, however lovely, that grows eighteen feet in a season. I may let the railway have it in return for all those brambles and sycamore seedlings.

There are the usual mutterings about the hosepipe ban. And the usual justifications, together with pictures of empty reservoirs and threats to bugger up the North-West tourist industry. I have to wonder about the quality of maintenance of our reservoirs if they're so very, very low after the two wet and windy summers we had in 2008 and 2009. And while I can understand why all of last Autumn's flood water didn't get saved -- it's in the nature of flood water to hit and run -- I can't understand why more of an effort wasn't made to trap the Winter's melt water. There is was: all that frozen water not going anywhere for a month, nice and handy by the roadside and ready for picking up and dumping into reservoirs.

Too much effort or not profitable enough.

Pfah! The problem with market economies is the compartmentalising of cost. So long as it can be kept off my particular balance sheet I don't have to worry about it. Remember all the bleating about the cost to the economy of all those blocked roads and accidents and stuff? In a command economy the cost of leaving the ice where it was would be weighed against the cost of shovelling it up and shipping it to somewhere useful. Clear roads, filled reservoirs and people in paid employment in a recession, job done. Or else we could have had derivatives specialists and directors of merchant banks doing the shovel work as part of their community service.

There are times when one can almost forget the stultifying idiocies and evils of the Soviet system.


willow said...

I like hearing of your garden happiness. We're fortunate to have well water at WM. Hot as a sauna in my garden today.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Thanks Willow! It's been a while since we've seen pictures of your garden (unless all that corn was growing in your back yard!)

nursemyra said...

My rosella loves bottlebrush

Kevin Musgrove said...

nursemyra: do you bring the bottlebrush to the rosella or the rosella to the bottlebrush?