Changing Tracks

Despite Central Park being one of New York’s most famous sites, occupying 843 acres, Manhattan isn’t exactly synonymous with green spaces. When you think of New York you think of skyscrapers; crowds of people; traffic; shopping; bright lights; and blaring cab horns – not green spaces and parks!

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The Tomato Sitter??

Are homeowners still really getting in a tomato/plant sitter while they go on holiday to look after their crops – the horticultural equivalent of a house sitter?
I must say I was surprised to read this in a recent Times article. Surely in today’s modern day and age more sophisticated methods could be utilised, such as the Irrigatia system.

Irrigatia - 5
An online customer survey conducted by our client Irrigatia earlier this year found that homeowners are enjoying complete peace of mind when on holiday knowing their prized plants back home are getting their liquid needs when required, delivered naturally by their automatic watering system – therefore not having to rely on friends, family or neighbours.
It really is the 21st century irrigation solution for domestic gardens that does all the hard work for you, just set it up and go!
Unlike electronic timer systems that deliver water at a set time, this solar powered system automatically judges their needs and waters every three hours. The longer the daylight hours and the greater the light intensity in a day the more the system waters. The volume of water can be manually adjusted to suit individual watering needs.
More than 350 homeowners across the UK participated in the Irrigatia online survey. Over 70% stated ‘holiday watering’ was the key reason they choose the Irrigatia system followed by the fact that it uses rainwater from a water butt, and is weather responsive.

Yes, I believe Irrigatia is the new tomato sitter!

  • Aroonaa

Taking A Fence

I moved house in February of this year. In typical Victorian terrace style, the house came with a cute little courtyard where I could see myself pottering around, planting up containers of sweet peas, foxgloves and fragrant beauties to create a little country-style oasis in suburban Nottingham – I have since managed to squeeze in a blackberry bush, a grape vine, two apple trees, a pear tree, a plum tree, and countless flowers and herbs.

Along one side of the garden is a tall fence, so tall that we cannot see over it. Along the other side was a simple three foot brick wall, over which we could see straight into our new neighbour’s garden. For this reason, as I was beginning to sort out our new garden – surprisingly time-consuming for such a little space – I got to know our new neighbour. We shared stories about what had brought us to the area, she told me all about where to find the best butcher and grocer, and once I even found her sharing a glass of wine with my parents over the garden wall as they had arrived a surprising two hours earlier than expected! It seemed as though I had managed to build a real friendship with my next-door neighbour, something that I had always hoped would happen.

After a few months, as the weather started to warm, we decided that we needed to put a taller fence up – two year old children and inquisitive cats to tend to necessitate these things as, toddlers in particular, just don’t seem to stay where you put them! I discussed with my neighbour, who totally understood the need for the fence, and we put it up the next weekend.

At first not much changed. The fence is bamboo, so it is still partially see-through, and I began to plant it up with honeysuckle, clematis and climbing roses. I was feeling really happy with my little outdoor sanctuary, and was actually enjoying the fact that there was now more privacy. I remembered what I had liked about previous gardens which had no overlooking neighbours – sometimes you just want to have a quiet, uninterrupted glass of wine in the garden.

But then I began to notice a change in my relationship with my neighbour. For the first few weeks we would still shout ‘hi!’ though the fence when we saw the silhouette of one another through the bamboo, but gradually this tailed off. Now, three months on, there are no greetings through the fence, no early evening discussions about how our days have been. It would seem that with the erection of the fence, came the dissolution of our neighbourly rapport. Is this, perhaps, the case up and down the country, and the reason why we feel so disconnected from our communities? Should we go back to the three foot Victorian walls separating our gardens, where we could talk to neighbours three doors down? Or are we simply more private in our lives now?

I won’t be taking the fence down anytime soon, but perhaps I’ll invite the neighbours over for a BBQ…