A water barrow is not pretty, but it's helpful. Fill it up with many watering cans' worth of water on legal watering days and you can dip into it on illegal watering days for thirsty potted plants and newly planted shrubs and trees.
Unfortunately, my water barrow is actually a regular, two-wheeled wheelbarrow. And it's actually inadequate for rolling about the garden filled with water because it has no lip at its edge and water easily sloshes out. I hope the right person is reading this and a new idea has formed to create and manufacture a water barrow.
They've been manufactured before - I've seen several, dating to the 19th century, while studying European landscapes. Of course, those were beautiful objects made of cast iron in addition to being functional work tools. It also appeared they would require two muscular gardeners to pull them around the garden. I'll settle for ugly and cheap if it will get the job done.
During legal watering hours, I use the water barrow to speed up the process of watering various dry plants that don't warrant the use of a sprinkler. After setting the hose to fill the water barrow, I use the time to work in my office.
Once the barrow is full, I dip watering cans into it and begin watering, leaving the garden hose on. Sometimes I pour six to seven watering cans from the water barrow, saving more than 15 minutes filling them individually with the garden hose. It's an easy dip-and-go process that is not only quick but clean; no getting dirty with a garden hose.
Isn't it horrible to be living the cliche, "drastic times call for drastic measures?" As water restrictions tighten, you may already be thinking of having two wheelbarrows for water, or even acquiring a water trough and rain barrels for your downspouts.
Already have a wheelbarrow but it has a hole and you can't justify having two wheelbarrows on your property? Make your gardening easier and purchase the second wheelbarrow. My landscape is less than 1⁄2 acre and two wheelbarrows make maintenance much easier. A big wheelbarrow works for heavy tasks and a smaller wheelbarrow fits narrow paths.
Place your water barrow where most of the plants needing random watering are located, and also within relatively easy reach of your garden hose. It is hoped that will be in a side or backyard.
But if you need to have the water barrow sitting in the front yard near your faucet, fine. Yes, in landscape design you want to cater to aesthetics, but dire measures are acceptable under duress. Better to have an ugly water barrow in the landscape than dead plants.
Stone Mountain resident Tara Dillard designs, installs and writes about gardens. Her most recent books include "Garden Paths and Stepping Stones" and "Perennials for Georgia." E-mail her at TaraDillard@agardenview.biz or visit www.AGardenView.biz.