I¬†finally got around to reworking the irrigation pipes in the lower part of the garden this weekend, and I now have two new spigots down there.¬† I‚Äôm building a new terrace and took the opportunity to run the water pipes under and through the new walls as I was building them.
When I lived in the states I did a whole lot of garden-water pipe installations, and I always used the straight, white plastic PVC pipes and the fittings that needed to be glued together.¬†
Here in Italy, nobody sells that system and they use instead the rolls of black plastic pipe that is greasier and cannot be glued. The fittings are all screw-down pressure fittings.¬† At first I was dismayed, but after a few jobs I‚Äôve become a big fan of the black pipe systems.¬† No more worrying about glue, and the system has the added benefit that the connections can be taken apart and re-positioned whenever appropriate.¬†
The fittings are much more expensive though, and while a PVC elbow might cost 50 cents or less, a pressure elbow costs about three euros.
My project this weekend involved the installation of two new hose bibs and the complete installation took only about fifteen minutes.¬† Most usually I need to double check the system and re-connect a fitting or two that is leaking, but this time everything worked perfectly on the first try.¬† Most excellent!
The hose bibs are a bit different here too, as are the hoses.¬† Italian hoses don‚Äôt generally come with the threaded fittings already affixed to the ends.¬† The nurseries sell hose tubing at about two euros a meter, and then the hose tube can be fitted with ends.¬†
I use yellow hoses in the garden, but some of the big nurseries sell green, blue, red and even pink hoses.¬† Most garden faucets come with a fitting that screws onto the spigot threads and offers a male fitting over which a hose end can be pressed and then secured with a hose clamp.¬†
Many gardeners use instead the orange plastic Gardena-type pressure fittings that allow a hose to be ‚Äúclipped‚ÄĚ to a hose bib.¬† The plumbing stores also sell some cool brass versions of the same style.¬† The hose bib has to have a special fitting that fits inside the hose coupler end, but in the end, this clipping and unclipping hose connection system is way more convenient than the types of hoses I used in the states where I always had to screw and unscrew hoses to move them.¬† I know they do sell Gardena hose couplers in the states, but I was always somehow not motivated to use them.¬†
It always feels good to me when I install new spigots in the garden.¬† Having water where it is most convenient is a key part of building a garden I think.¬† I have eight hose bibs in the garden now and the most recent I was clever enough to position very conveniently on a wall by breaking one of the bottles that are used instead of bricks to build the walls and then running the pipe through the wall.¬† Ahh!¬†¬†