Our plants had suffered greatly from a short absence and the heat and drought overall (even though I conscientiously watered twice a day). Very recently, we made the amazing discovery that after all, we do have a water pipe on our terrace (and also an electrical outlet). Except that these things are hidden from view by a metal cover. The solution was clear: install an automatic drip irrigation system!
By now, the heat has abated considerably and the nights have become fresher. In this climate, it seems that late summer is like a second spring. The plants are doing much better and even seemingly dead ones are growing new leaves.
But our terrace has seen another great improvement. Even though it might be a less visible one.
This, of course, made another pilgrimage to Moriya necessary. But there, we found everything. We bought a timer, Y-adapter, the appropriate amounts of normal hose (to pass on those parts of the terrace where there aren’t any pots), soaker hose (to pass through the pots), and various click-adapters to join all those pieces of hose. For the small single pots of the over-summering house plants, we got an adapter from which small emitter lines with drop emitters at the end can be run right into those pots.
Since we were there, we couldn’t leave without buying a lemon tree to replace our poor dead conifer, and two small azalea bushes. Of course I would have bought many more plants, but we couldn’t possibly carry any more with us on bus and train.
Since it was a hot day, assembling the systems turned out to be on the exhausting side. We looped the soaker hose (which “sweats” water drops over its entire surface) around each of the small trees and connected all the pieces. It was not even that hard to figure out the manual for the timer (being exclusively in Japanese). When the programmed time arrived, the system promptly turned on and everything worked (yeah, at first try, just like that. Creepy, isn’t it?)!
Now we can go away without worries and can water as much as we want. And no more carrying watering cans through the entire flat! I have great hopes that next year, no plants will die from drought and that I will have a lush jungle even in the hottest summer!