TINA HELME: How did cavemen cope without an outside tap?

How would we tend to our gardens without the convenience of an outside water supply?
How would we tend to our gardens without the convenience of an outside water supply?
Picture: Sussex Police

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Regular columnist TINA HELME weighs up the pros and cons of installing an outside tap for the garden, and whether it’s worth just leaving it to Mother Nature...

If we left our gardens to be watered by Mother Nature, watering plants only with natural rainfall and not rushing to get the hose out, what would they look like?

Debating the idea of fitting an outside tap to connect the hose to it made me really think.

In winter, the hose stays curled up in the garden shed. It rains for half of the summer in the UK so it’s not necessary to use the tap when we have these wet spells.

Heatwaves exhaust the gardeners with more than 30 watering cans being used at dawn and dusk, but this is a great workout and saves money on gym memberships.

The garden relies on us to renew it’s moisture to sustain the beautiful flowers and ever increasing vegetables in greenhouses and surrounding plots.

When people usually go away on holiday twice a year, the garden manages to cope remarkably well without human intervention.

So how many hours a year do you actually turn on your outside tap?

We have decided to get an outside tap installed to stop those mini hose emergencies giving our kitchen an unexpected deep clean.

Plumbers charge variable hourly rates from the quotes we have received. These range from £62 plus VAT for half an hour all the way to as much as £130 for the entire job.

Fitting the outside tap from the downstairs toilet or from under the kitchen sink was our next dilemma. We are lucky enough to have an outhouse with a loo in it.

Then there’s the scenario of the water being switched off as outside tap installation works are taking place.

Every water bottle, flask and kettle is filled to the brim – this is with the forward knowledge work will take up three quarters of the day.

The survival of the fittest goes on with or without an outside tap. Wish us luck and let’s hope it’s all worth it.