While installing an outdoor shower isn’t exactly rocket science; there are plenty of considerations you need to keep in mind — especially with the drainage. Neglecting the drainage and other important maintenance features of your shower will result with an inadequate and dysfunctional shower area.
Here are some tips on what to keep in mind when setting up your very own outdoor shower drainage.
Outdoor shower drainage is often the most cited complaint of these features.
Outdoor Shower Drainage Issues
You need to maximise your shower area first.
Connecting with the main water source
Consider what surface material you’re placing your shower
The outdoor shower drainage itself
Add safety with outdoor path lighting
There’s no problem setting up an outdoor shower as long as you have an accessible water supply or connection outside of your home. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be near to the water source to have an efficient outdoor shower. You can just connect pipes from your water source to the shower area. Of course, it may be more expensive to attach multiple pipes if you plan on placing a shower that is from the water source.
If you want to make the most out of your shower, you need to ensure that the surface is durable against constant water exposure. Generally, surface materials that are hard like stone patios are ideal for shower floors due to their resilient properties. Wood types can also be used but just be sure it’s water resistant.
It’s not enough that you focus on the water source connections and the aesthetics of your shower, you should also place great importance on creating a proper and functional drainage. We advise that your drainage outlet goes through a different manhole or a storm drain instead of connecting it to your house’s main drainage system. The purpose of this is to avoid overloading your main drainage system with too much water and hence; avoid flooding.
Not everyone wants to shower in the middle of the day so when installing an outdoor shower you may want to consider some outdoor path lighting. This allows yourself, and guests, to easily and safely access your outdoor shower. Without lighting around path areas, and even in the shower surrounds, you restrict the usability of this great garden feature.
The shower area should also get direct sunlight as much as possible. This helps prevent water and moisture from accumulating in the shower. You don’t want your shower to become too humid and wet simply because it will cause mould growth and water build-up.
Think Penstemon digitalis, and you automatically match it with cottage gardens. Think beardtongue, and matching with a dragon with facial hair issues is not a far stretch. Yet, these virginal beardtongues could sit happily in most garden designs – and still not scare the kids.
Growing a Penstemon Digitalis is relatively simple
Penstemons were an annual fixture in my garden for many years. They were a delight with their tall spires and trumpet-like inflorescences (flowers). Watching them dance gently upon the breath of a warm summer breeze somehow reminded me that life was alright. They were dainty. Tall. So elegantly dainty.
The problem with my penstemon was the year I decided NOT to grow them. Then, like a bipolar junkie they turned on me and began self-seeding with abandon. Each year, I thought I’d curtailed their growth and each spring they would bounce back up in another fitful act of revenge. Today, I no longer have penstemons in my garden, and I no longer have them sprouting through my garden beds, but I miss them. My cottage garden feels somewhat incomplete.
Growing Penstemon Digitalis
My garden has missed them way too much. So, I’ve decided to plant some Penstemon digitalis. I’m not ignoring their self-seeding wanton ways, I’m just better prepared. This time ’round they will not be the feature of the garden but a pleasant focal point. They’ll compete with the Delphiniums, Foxgloves, the towering Stocks and the perennial cottage plants. No more will they dictate their growing conditions. It is I who will determine where and when.
As an annual, Penstemon digitalis works great, but its perennial nature is more highly regarded. They prefer free-draining, loamy soil, a satisfactory reward of organic fertiliser (blood & bone is best) and moderate watering. Once this has been achieved, your task is to sit back and enjoy the spires of flowers dance amidst their garden buddies.
Types of Penstemon Digitalis
There’s literally hundreds of types to choose from and finding something a little different will certainly set your garden apart. Here’s a few of the more common varieties going around at the moment.
- Husker Red
- Red Riding Hood
- Gold Foil
White-Pink flowers that bob above a clump of purple-green foliage. The flowers emanate from a red-pink cloak.
As the name suggests this variety hosts an abundance of vermilion flowers on green stems. Delightful flush for any garden that won’t scorch your retina.
Penstemon digitalis “Gold Foil” is all about the foliage. Sure, those little white flowers adorn this seasoned eye-popper but the leaf tone is amazing.
Dainty mauve-white flowers.
Deep violet flowers make a supreme statement in any garden lacking joie de vivre. If you’re tired of the boring virginal whites then this one is sure to set tongues wagging.
Naming a flower “Blackbeard” conjures thoughts of dark ivory, but that’s not the case with this variety. The stems and foliage are darker than your average penstemon but the flowers are an insipid mauve.
Growing Penstemon Digitalis From Seed
If you’re wondering why they propagate so profusely it’s because, according to this site, they produce more than 130,000 seeds to the ounce. The only way to stop it self-seeding is to deadhead your penstemons on a regular basis – good luck with that. Instead I will be attempting to do, smothering the rampant seedlings with very competitive companion plants.
You only need to learn them and use them.
Cover any wall or fence with lots of climbers. Many climbers are so robust that they can cover the wall or fence in as little as one growing season. They can be trained to grow over an arbor, or can be easily taught to cover any size arbor. Some varieties of these plants will have to be tethered to some sort of support, but others will have to be attached to something. Some climbers that have proven to be reliable are honeysuckle, clematis, jasmine, clematis, and wisteria.
When mowing your lawn do not cut it too closely to the dirt. If you leave a bit more height, the roots grow further into the ground, helping the grass grow better and remain hydrated. Short grass means short roots and turning brown.
Most vegetables that can be grown need that much sun to grow the right way at a faster pace. Some flowers have the same requirement for a portion of each day.
Make a plan for your first hole. This helps you in recognizing your tiny plants when they begin to sprout.
Fertilizing is an important step in preparing your garden is essential.Manure is very effective in helping plants grow, though you should use products which minimize pathogens.
You can keep pests from your garden by using other plants and natural materials. Slugs can be kept at bay with either onions or pungent vegetables. These are proven methods prevent use of harsh chemicals.
If you want to grow peas, try starting them off indoors rather than planting the raw seeds in outdoor beds. The seeds will grow better germination rate if you start them indoors.The seedlings will also be heartier, which would help them resist diseases and pests more easily. You could transplant the seedlings outdoors once they are sturdy enough.
Try placing evergreens in your garden. Some plants that will provide color in the winter include the American Cranberrybush, the American Holly, the Common Snowberry, and American holly.
Chamomile tea applied to plants can be an effective in combating a fungus attacking plants.
This will also gives your flowers appear beautiful and finished all year long.
Plastic bags can be kept on hand and reused to slip over your dirty gardening shoes when they get muddy.
Put used coffee grounds in your soil. Coffee grounds have nitrogen that plants need.
Do you want to know how to kill weeds without using commercial chemicals?You need to have many layers of newspapers. Weeds cannot grow without sunlight. The newspaper will block sunlight and weeds because they no longer receive any sunlight.Newspapers tend to break down nicely over time to become part of the compost.You can add a mulch layer right on top for aesthetic reasons.
While horticulture organically requires more work than horticulture with the help of chemicals, it is healthier and more gratifying than regular gardening. While chemical pesticides and fertilizers may claim to do great things for your garden, organic gardening will always provide the most rewarding and healthy crops.
Adjust your watering according to season and climate. For example, if you are in a warm and humid climate, avoid getting any water on the leaves because this will cause leaf fungus.
A superior garden can be created when one has adequate knowledge about how they can render the most from their plants. Use what you have learned to make your garden grow!