Rounding the bend in the river, a free-laid cairn rose from a bar. It stood over 5 feet. Easily the most impressive and unanticipated of free sculptures I have ever witnessed.



I am into it flows, containment, conservation, use and reuse. I've had some trade professionals tell me I am way too interested in water conservation given the fact I live in water rich southwest Virginia (not the case if the summer of 2007 sets a new standard).

Regardless, I am water conscious. in part because I want to be a guilt free and heavy user. Plus, our water source is a natural spring that we share with neighbors. I know what it feels like to loose water just after lathering up.

The two projects on this page are satisfying solutions. Use the contact page if you would like to pick my brain.

Outdoor House Plant Watering Solution

My wife and I love plants. We have a wraparound porch filled with ferns, philodendrons and ficus (pictured below). But, as anyone with a plant fetish knows, routine watering is a pain.

The system described below was a great solution. One of my favorite times is to be on my porch relaxing when the system kicks on. Its a great feeling.

Micro Dripper: All components for this setup were obtained from the local hardware store. Some specialty irrigation components and helpful standard setup diagrams can be found online at:

Porch & Plants: Every potted plant pictured, and many more not pictured, is fed by a automated irrigation system. A timer feeds the system for 10 minutes every 12 hours. The results are fantastic.

An upgrade to this system is being planned where I will start to replace plastics more copper/brass tubing, connectors and drippers.



Cascading Cisterns

The rig below is made of discarded barrels used originally to ship/store large volumes of concentrated apple juice.

You can pick them up for $5 each at most beverage distributors.

They hold 80 gallons each and are completely 'charged' after a reasonable afternoon shower.

A gutter from a 20X40 shed roof is diverted into the top barrel. It fills, and overflows into the next, and so on. All are tapped and daisy chained together across the bottom with standard garden variety T connectors that feature on/off valves. This helps force fill each barrel to capacity and to facilitate use.

This cistern series is uphill from some of my gardens and gravity feeds soaker hose and keeps a birdbath full using a dripper. It is also feeds a hose for general use.

A high capacity below grade cistern expansion plan is in the works but my resources to implement are holding me back at the moment.