Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


More Ornamental Laundry

Patio with Laundry

Patio with Laundry

My bloom day photo of what Daffodil Planter called ‘the vine with multi-colored blooms’ reminds me that I took a photo of it in full bloom back in May. We hang-dry our laundry for a variety of practical reasons — it doesn’t use fossil fuels (clothes driers account for 5.8% of residential energy use), line-dried clothing lasts longer, it makes sense in our climate, and, well, we don’t own a dryer — but also I sometimes like the look of it. I remember when I was in Italy I thought the laundry lines between the apartment buildings were very charming, and now looking at two shots of our patio this past spring, I prefer the one with the laundry.

Patio without Laundry

Patio lacking Laundry

I know at least some garden bloggers use a line. Daffodil Planter said she has one. Townmouse has a variety of drying contraptions. It’s getting more fashionable, and there’s, of course, even a blog devoted to the topic.


8 Responses to “More Ornamental Laundry”

  1. November 20th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Town Mouse says:

    Ah, well, but interestingly enough, I had just 2 comments on that post. Usually we get at least 10 on interesting posts. This was not an interesting post. And not a single Pick on Blotanical.

    I think that tells us that it’s still a very radical, going back to the dark ages thing to line dry.

    (I must admit I personally prefer the garden without the line, which is why I remove all traces of it after the weekly laundry day. But it makes so much sense to hang dry, I can’t see not doing it).

  2. November 20th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Daffodil Planter says:

    I like that patriotic color scheme you’ve got going–was this for a Memorial Day party in May? I wish I had taken a photo of my clothesline in my Laura Ashley days, with five flowered cotton lawn (no, not that kind of lawn) dresses hanging in a bright row. LIke Town Mouse I try to take my laundry down quickly. I have a retractable clothes line that stretches across a south-facing deck. With the dry air in Nevada County, and the summer heat, clothes dry in an hour. What a boon!

  3. November 20th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    ryan says:

    I liked that post, though I guess I didn’t comment either. I find that comments are not the only way to judge the popularity of a post. Same with Blotanical. There are a lot of blog readers out there without blogs of their own so they don’t ever leave comments.
    Those retractable lines are clever. We use a cane of bamboo to hoist it above our sight line.
    I hadn’t noticed the patriotic color scheme, but yesterday might have been a patriotic day for me. I spray painted U-S-A on a client’s lawn, though it was for utility service to mark the power lines, not for jingoistic reasons. I had to google Laura Ashley to figure out what that meant. I seem to be in my REI clothing department days.

  4. November 21st, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Susan Tomlinson says:

    Oooh, Ryan! This is a blog after my own heart.

    I like line drying, though I don’t do as much of it as I should. I need to work on the therblligginess of it–make it more convenient for me than it is right now.

    I agree about not judging the success of the post by the comments. SOmetimes I’ll say something to my students in class, only to be met with what I am interpreting as a blank stare. Later, I’ll find out from one of them that whatever it was I said was such a novel idea to them that they were a bit nonplussed. Maybe clotheslines are that novel to people now.

  5. November 21st, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Daniel Mount says:

    Ryan, My mother used to hang clothes out during really cold weather in Wisconsin. They would be freeze-dried. I never smelled sheets so fresh again. In the Pacific NW even our towels don’t dry out in 24 hours. We do have a wood burning stove so you’ll find our living room full of those old timey wooden accordian racks full of laundry. It takes days to get the jeans dry. But no ” how did these pants get so tight?” feeling in the morning. We also have an electric clothes drier.

  6. November 22nd, 2009 at 9:40 am

    ryan says:

    ST – I don’t know if clotheslines are so novel, but i like the idea of using a blog post to give people a blank stare. What is ‘therblligginess?’
    DM – I don’t know if I’d hang dry as much if I lived in the NW or Wisconsin. Freeze-dried laundry sounds a little extreme for me.

  7. December 7th, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Country Mouse says:

    In my Scottish childhood of course tumble driers were a thought unthunk, and we had a “pulley’ in the kitchen for drying when it was (frequently) wet – a rack of four horizontal poles the length of the kitchen that you hoisted to the ceiling to keep it out of the way. I want to get into line drying but haven’t worked up the energy – but Town Mouse recently gave me a set of her line drying accessories, Japanese plastic hangers clips on a single hook you can hang up, so my excuses are dwindling. I love your patio with the laundry – it’s very country peasanty pleasant! I’m inspired to create such a patio myself from seeing yours and I really think I will – a flagstone patio on our undeveloped flat south garden would look great and I love working in stone. Fingers crossed I can just keep these old muscles working!

  8. December 7th, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    ryan says:

    Country peasant pleasant. Exactly. Get a nice sunny day and hang some laundry, add some color to the yard for a while. Flagstone almost always turns out nice, so I’d say go for it.

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