While looking through a past issue of Martha Stewart Living (I prescribe myself at least one issue a day, and this one was the July 2001 issue) I came across three Good Things that I felt I had to share, given the season. All of them are connected to the rural outdoors and to the use of hoses. I've always been a sucker for themes.
This is a Good Thing I've always loved. As a frequent cottage-goer and beach comber this time of year, there was something very alluring about its casual practicality. Designate a grassy spot a step away from your porch or patio as the place for washing sandy feet before re-entering the house. Make a weatherproof frame with four three-inch-tall boards. The box shown is 16 inches square. Fill it will several layers of smooth, flat stones - river stones look particularly handsome and are easy on the soles. Sand rinses away into the stones and grass below, leaving bare feet clean.
A standard, galvanized paint bucket makes a multipurpose garden-hose caddy. Drill three holes in a triangular pattern in the bottom of the bucket. Depending on your wall surface, bolt or screw the bucket to the wall; use washers to strengthen the cut edges of the holes. The space inside the mounted bucket provides additional storage; a sprinkler fits nicely inside.
Designating a spot in the garden for washing up is always a Good Thing. This little station includes a small wire caddy for a sponge and liquid soap. The bar of soap was altered with a rope to make it easy to hang, and therefore difficult to lose. To make soap on a rope, use an apple corer lengthwise through the soap, which should be large enough to withstand the coring. Fold a three-foot length of cotton rope in half and push both ends through the hole; tie a square not at the bottom of the soap and hang it near an outdoor faucet.