Friday, May 22, 2020

What Is a Rill ?

This rill comes to us from

             What is a rill, and why should you care ?   A rill, or in German or Swedish a rille, is a narrow water stream. These occasionally occur naturally, but our mention today is of rills that are man-made. Man-made rills first became very popular when the Romans came to England, which incidentally is about fifty-five years before Jesus was born.  They were an efficient way to bring water from one place to another.  Persian gardens may also have had rills but they were wider than the ones I wish to discuss today.  A rill can help you take water from a place where water is plentiful, to a place some distance away, where it is needed, for plants or for animals. It also can be used as an exquisite water feature for a garden.
              Often, rills have concrete sides which keep them intact, straight and beautiful, but they may also be lined with bricks or rectangular stones. Some are lined with the same waterproof linings that we use in ponds.

This is a much less typical rill, because it curves, but it too has concrete walls.  Travis St Clair

                    Today, rills are most often seen in lovely British formal gardens. They are sometimes seen in Japanese gardens though often in tandem with other water features such as waterfalls of various sizes.  A rill can simply have still water which has movement during rain or when the water in the source is high, or it may have movement because the owner has installed a small circulating pump, just as we might use in a small pond we have installed in a garden. Keep in mind that water that is moving, always stays cleaner than water that is stagnant.

This is a modern rill. Austin Patterson Disston.

                       The rill above is straight, bit it can also we constructed on an incline, and occasionally in a sculpture.  You may consider having a rill installed in order to beautify a garden, or increase the value of a property before sale.  You might install a rill in order to provide water to plants or to animals, while beautifying a certain area of an otherwise uninspired garden.

These are directions as to how you might install a rill:

These are other links that apply to rills:

                  Since I am in the process of deciding where on my farm a rill would be most attractive and most useful, I may have a future post which provides additional insights.

Monday, May 11, 2020

On Dakin's Solution

This is a bottle of commercially prepared Dakin's Solution.

                Recently, I was in Wal-Mart buying supplies, and when I got to the check-out, the woman who was scanning my purchases, had a rather significant bandage on her arm.  All these years of being a nurse hasn't yet taught me to mind my own business, and so I asked what she had done.  She told me that she had cut the arm recently, and that due to the COVID-19, she was unable to buy either hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol, and so she had just washed the wound in soap and water.  It was reddened and slightly infected.  I asked her if she knew how to make Dakin's Solution. She responded that she had never heard of it.

                    I quickly explained in the empty Wal-Mart, that Dakin's is a solution used by doctors dating back to WW I, but that even in hospitals today, occasionally nurses will see an order for it for a particular use or a particular patient.  Although we generally buy a commercial Dakin's Solution, it can also be made at home

                     Below is the University of Virginia Medical Center recipe for it.  Please note that one should use an unthickened, plain bottled bleach without lemon, lavender or other additives. It would probably also be best to use the name brand Chlorox if you are buying some, simply because we have a better assurance of strength.

                      For many things, including the cleaning of a superficial wound when you have no other available antiseptic, 1/8 strength below should be adequate.  For special uses, please ask your physician.  

                 Store your fresh Dakin's solution in a glass lidded jar,  clean or even a sterile jar, like a canning jar.  Ideally, we throw away the solution 48 hours after we make it.  It must also be kept away from children.

                   I saw the woman in Wal-Mart again three weeks later.  They still have no peroxide or alcohol, but her wound has healed, and she did make the Dakin's solution as I had suggested.

                    Print this recipe out, next time you need it.   Don't forget that plain Chlorox can also be used a couple of tablespoons to a sink full of dishes when someone in your home is ill, or when your dishwasher is non-functional or non-existent. Make sure you rinse your dishes well afterward.