I’ve been working on finding information about rain barrels for rainwater use in our garden.  Montgomery County here in Maryland has a pretty good rain barrel program — if you can remember to pay attention to when they schedule it.  Apparently this year they did it on April 18th and 19th without much advertising.  My goal is to put together two or three rainbarrels together for a total of about 150 gallons of good ol’ rainwater to water the garden with.  I figure the reasons are two-fold: 1) WSSC (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission) has raised their rates again for water and 2) eventually water will also be a scarce resource that we must manage as well.  The goal is to have a total of three 55-gallon barrels (painted appropriately to blend in with the garden overall) providing sufficient water (hopefully) for the garden.  I’ve managed to find someone in the DC area who can get me the barrels for relatively little money (compared with buying them online) and will do the first one for me. 

After the barrels are in place I plan to also put in an irrigation system to bring drip irrigation to the garden beds that are in place right now. 

On a different note it looks like we’ve had a bit of a swarm of wildlife in Montgomery County of late.   I’ve been noticing a rather large increase in the number of chipmunks and rabbits that I’ve been seeing around the neighborhood lately.  Up to now the fence around the garden has been working well in keeping them out but I know that will not last forever unless I improve the it.  I’ll need to put hardware cloth on the lower portion of the fence in order to keep small rabbits as well as chipmunks out.  The deer — well that’s a more challenging story.  The fence right now is about 5 – 5 1/2 feet tall all around.  I suspect though that I will have to build a newer, more permanent fence that would be closer to 6 1/2 to 7 feet tall.  I’ve got to research the Montgomery County regulations about that before I start.  I can’t imagine that it would that much of a problem since Brookside Gardens in Wheaton Regional Park has something like a 10 foot fence (chain link) all around it.  I don’t want to do a chain link fence though.  The one I want to do is straight out of the Home Depot Outdoor Projects book.  I want to use wood posts and put a nice cap rail so that it is aesthetically pleasing.  Anyway that’s for later. 

Finally, the good news is that the little chick that is growing in the nest in our rubbermaid shed by the side of the house is doing well.  In fact, just yesterday, I wanted to put up another bird feeder (a thistle feeder to draw goldfinches) near out current feeder (which has safflower seeds for the cardinals, tufted titmouse, and black capped chickadees that are in the are).  I was on the ladder when I noticed the other bird nest (the one that is in the crook of the gutter downspout) has two baby chicks in it.  I’m going to see if I can get a picture of it (and the chicks as well).  If I can I’ll post it to the blog.