Tuesday, November 17, 2009

End of the Line

Gardening Gone Wild has invited garden bloggers for the last Picture This Photo Contest of the year. The topic is "End of the Line", which can be taken literal or metaphorical. It's been fun to see what people have come up with, including our own Country Mouse with her End of the Line for the Brush Pile post.

For me, the post was a sad reminder that by mid-November, it's usually no longer possible to dry clothes outside, so it's the end of the clothesline until the days get longer and warmer.

My mother never had a dryer, and I never stopped drying clothes outside during the warmer time of year (disclaimer: usually Mr. Mouse is responsible for the laundry and does the work, but philosophical, we agree on this matter). Laundry smells much better, the energy savings are significant, and it really doesn't take that long to hang things.

We own multiple contraptions for hanging things outside. The Japanese square-with-clothespins is very convenient for socks and underwear. You just put the basket with the wet laundry somewhere elevated and pin everything, then you hang up the whole square. No bending down for each sock. Also an easy way to presort socks by color.

For clothesline overflow, we have a rack. We actually use the rack inside in winter for synthetics we don't want to stick in the dryer. The rack folds up small and goes into the shed or closet.


And here's where the clothes drying business intersects with garden concerns. While we love hanging things up to dry, we don't really want to see the different contraptions (or the laundry) during the rest of the week. Drying clothes on the line is newly fashionable, and some love to have a visible clothesline as garden ornamentation (I might like it if I had a larger garden, but I don't). We prefer other art.

So we put the Japanese square and the rack in the closet, and even the clothesline is retractable and hooks over two screws in the house. We lift it up, and that's the end of the line for the week.

I can't wait to look at everyone else's posts. It's always educational to see what the juror likes and what I enjoy. Though really, I enjoy so many of the posts, I'm glad I don't have to select a winner.

7 comments:

Rosey Pollen said...

I love drying clothes outside. Good luck to you!
I think this is the best idea for end of the line that I have seen!

T Opdycke said...

Great photo! I'm a huge fan of the sun and wind clothes dryer. There's nothing like the sleeping on sheets dried outdoors. Funny I should come across this photo...there was an article about people fighting for the right to hang their clothes outdoors. Can you believe it? Again, colorful fun photo.

healingmagichands said...

What a new approach. I have a clothesline I use all year too, and it never even occurred to me to feature it. And your photos are wonderful.

Daffodil Planter said...

I have that same clothesline. What fun to see two of my favorite subjects (laundry and gardens) combined!

Town Mouse said...

Well, I'm not so sure that laundry is my favorite topic, but I'd still rather see it outside than listen to the dryer for hours on end...

Susan Tomlinson said...

I have the retractable line that I use now. I wanted to build a folding rack to use in the garden this year but never got around to it.

For some reason, your picture of the Japanese line didn't load for me, and I'm curious about it. I'll google it and see what the story is. The idea of not bending down for every sock appeals to me.

We have perfect spring/summer/fall wether to hang clothes outside, but for some reason, I just don't get around to it. I need to work out a system to where it is more convenient. Actually, it is probably not that much more inconvenient than hanging them up, but it certainly feels that way.

I just need to square my shoulders and start doing it. No more excuses.

Country Mouse said...

This was great - I love the pictures and I love how color co-ordinated your washing is ;0) Good for photography to be sure - I love your entry for the competition! I'd love to put up a retractable line, but I need to figure out the end points. There is nothing tall enough near our house, so we'd have to put up a pole. I haven't yet thought of another purpose for said pole. Can't really put a bird house on top. Some young English visitors were totally horrified when they saw me putting washing into a tumble drier and I reddened with shame!