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Hang out the washing

I want to re-design my small back garden as I've hotched-potched it over the years around an over-sized patio. I've been trawling books and t'internet for months now, and the thing that strikes me about all these designs is no-one seems to take into account the washing line or, as in my case, a rotary airer.

Am I the only gardener who dries laundry outside? Has everyone succumbed to an electric drier? I'm all for gardening forever, housework whenever, but even I have to wash the occasional item. Anyone seen a useful book? Companion planting and laundry? Wildlife gardening and undies?



  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    You have a patio; stick it in the patio.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    my rotary dryer is situated in an area with winter flowering shrubs as a I tend not to use it much during that season, leaving it closed up most of the time... relying on my tumble dryer a hefty electric the weather warms from April I start using it again but by now the rest of the garden takes over, and it doesn't interfere so much... ideally it would be hidden behind trellis...

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,527

    When we had a smaller garden (well, a tiny back yard really, no bigger than our dining room) we had a similar problem - we made a circular paved patio with a hole in the centre for the leg of the rotary drier - when it was not being used it was taken down and put in the shed, otherwise the garden couldn't be used.  As I said, it was a small garden and the washing did occasionally get 'involved' with the runner beans, but we managed to keep the rambling rose away from our undies.

    Now we have a bigger garden which had the usual linen posts and line across the lawn.  We've removed this and had a sturdy post with a metal ring incorporated in the fencing - two of these are fixed to the house wall, and when the lines aren't being used they are retracted and we can use the whole garden without being garotted.  The only thing we had to consider when planning the rest of the garden was the siting of large shrubs, so they're not too close to where the washing lines are when they're in use.

    Hope that gives you some ideas image


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I use those concertina airers (Wilko are doing them for £10 at the moment) then if it rains I can pick up the whole shebang and rush to the conservatory, where the clothes carry on drying.image

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    My "twirly thing" is located in the centre of the lawn and gets put away after use. Must admit it is an eye sore and I find myself trying to co-ordinate the colour of pegs to clothes image  It can't go further down the garden due to apple tree and the birds would use it as target practise. 

    I like the idea of a Dove line, but don't have a wall to fix to. My neighbour has one but it makes their patio unusable when the washing is out.

    If we lived in Greece we'd put the washing out overnight so it didn't fade, and then we wouldn't see it in the day. image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,289

    It's a perennial problem if there isn't room to tuck it away out of sight somewhere. As Salino says - hiding it with a screen is possibly the best option if you don't want to buy another type of line. Erect a simple screen even with hazel sticks/bamboo if you don't want to  do trellis  and grow something temporarily on it to disguise your smalls and help hide it. Either that, make the rest of your plot so attractive you don't see it. image

    I've also done a similar thing to Dove in the past -  a large hook on the house wall and one across the garden onto the pergola. I just coiled the line up when I brought the washing in and tucked it out of sight behind the planting at the house wall.

    I had a wobbly rotary line when I moved here so I concreted the spike into a standard builder's bucket then dug a hole and put it in and covered the top with the surrounding gravel. I can now move it to another location as I'm redesigning the garden anyway. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • franco6832franco6832 Posts: 105

    I think the best option is a rotary dryer tucked away on the patio, as its over-sized anyway so wont do any damage to any treasured plants or flowers. we have a rotary dryer in our small london garden close to a clematis montana and a rose, and occasionally it gets tangled in the clematis or the rose loses a few flower buds especially if the wife is doing the drying, as she has no clue about gardening and plants. Saying that, what is the fun of gardening without casualties and own goals. it hurts a few minutes when it happens but hey life goes on, and sometimes for the good of the plant. wink

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,394

    For me practicality has to take priority over aesthetics. I've got my clothes line right outside my conservatory doors criss crossing about from my hanging basket things to the washing line pole over to the fence. It's also away from my seating area...

    It used to be my grass area , but thanks to my chickens it is now just a decent sized chicken zone and laundry area. This does have the added benefit of keeping the wildbirds away from the washing as the chickens chase them away.

    It's a permanent feature with pegs kept on at all times. The last thing you want when you're dragging a cat blanket or duvet cover outside is to be messing about.

    Yes it looks like a poor mans string of fairy lights, and sometimes things get caught on my apple tree/trellis but like franco says it's not the end of the world. 


  • Thank you for all your replies and ideas. My current rotary drier is a collapsible one and also has a cover which makes it a little less noticeable (if you squint). My back garden sounds about the size of Dove's old garden - maybe a bit bigger, but currently half of it is patio, and this is what I want to reduce and grow more plants. I'm even toying with turning it into a no-mow herb lawn. I saw some fake grass today.....Nah 

    So with regards to the drier, yes Victoria practicality will have to take priority. It will have to stay where it is. I've removed the lower branches from the Damson tree and pruned the Corkscrew Hazel so the duvet cover and sheets are free of green stripes and captured bees. Back to the patio dilemma image

  • I found a really great British company who sell these rotary lines. They have a great selection of sizes but i bought the small one because when i spoke to a gentelman there he advised the dimensions and completely took any risk away from buying by reminding me of my rights as a consumer regarding distance selling and advising that i could return for a refund if it didn't fit where i wanted it. The company, i hear you all ask is and they also sell via Amazon. Better still all the roataries are covered by a 5 year guarantee. This is my a story of my personal experience and i would reccomend the company to all.

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