The Met office promised us a fine weekend - well at least it didn't rain, but it's been overcast and chilly yesterday and today, with brief spells of sun just to rub it in.
Yesterday DH and I at last got our new rain water butts connected up to the downpipes. First we did the small one, placed to gather the rain from the conservatory. The placing of the cut into the downpipe was critical, the instructions told us. Careful work with a spirit level was totally negated by my inability to saw straight, but the botch job turned out to be very effective in practice.
On to the big butt (if you'll pardon the expression) to take the water from the back roof. As the downpipe is in an awkward place by the kitchen door, where there is only a narrow path to the back garden, we wanted to site the butt just round the corner. The connecting hose wasn't long enough, but a search of B&Q produced a washing machine hose that was just the right diameter and length. Only one extra trip to the shops to get a jubilee clip the right size, and we were ready to go.
Again the proof that I can't cut straight, and the fiddly job to insert the diverter into the gap in the downpipe. This was unexpectedly easy, then I saw why - the pipe had become detached from the gutter. Right up there at the house eaves. About 17 feet off the ground.
Faced with the alternative of getting *a little man* to fix it, I went up the ladder and fixed it myself. And those who know my feelings about heights will be marvelling. (And yes, I was wearing brown trousers.)
No photos of all that, but we both took lots of photos when we went to the RHS garden at Harlow Carr today. DH is still getting the hang of downloading and printing from his New Camera, but I have whizzed these through just for you.
Most of the gardens are still dormant, but here and there things are coming along nicely. This gets my vote as the best ever use of dogwood -
As a support for peonies. And this is a view of the trees and containers near the alpine house -
Elsewhere, there were several willow sculptures - it looks as though these two will support some plants later in the year -
Most of the colour was in the conservatory and alpine house. This is a double daffodil, I think, with what looks like a lettuce behind it (but it isn't) -
Then these hyacinths were bonny -
And I love the colour of this primula -
The sun did come out as we walked round the arboretum. And just look at this sofa we found among the trees!