I have learned to do what my oldest son tells me to do. This son, Ben, inherited my love of gardening, but took it further and got a degree in landscape architecture. Now, he does hands-on projects for people for his living. If he says I should try Netafim irrigation tubing, I will try Netafim irrigation tubing. He says it has a much more reliable and long-lasting emitter system, which is built into the tubing and doesn’t require extra emitter pieces or extensions. Ben also knows that his father is trying to train me to be competent in handling our sprinkler system maintenance and repair. So, Ben patiently teaches me while he helps me, sharing little tricks of his trade, and waiting cheerfully while I attempt the various steps and ask questions.
This week, we determined that one of the pressure regulators in a complex (to me) drip system I had set up by myself last year was leaking. Ben said I probably needed to switch to Netafim, which would likely handle the pressure right next to the sprinkler box better. He dictated a list of components to me, and even rigged a sample fitting to help me ask for the correct size of adapter. He suggested Pipeco in Nampa would have everything I needed. Then, he went to work on another project in my yard (he works for me a couple of hours a week), while I ventured out to the sprinkler parts store.
If you know my history, you may remember that sprinkler shopping can be emotional for me. I have cried in sprinkler aisles, and later told store clerks, “I love you.” When my husband takes me shopping for sprinkler parts, I watch in awe as he easily identifies and connects pieces. All this at just a basic home and garden store. Going to Pipeco was entering the realm of professional sprinklers. My ignorance was probably going to light up the store like a neon sign.
If I didn’t know better, I would suspect that Ben had called ahead and told the folks at Pipeco that I was coming. They seemed delighted to see me and eager to get me what I needed. I noticed right off that a helpless female might do well there. There was not row after row of identical little white boxes filled with laughing plastic pieces. No, here you just give the nice person behind the counter your list and the parts show up on the counter.
I almost told the Pipeco man that I loved him more than the last sprinkler man, but instead, I asked if I could take a few photos for my blog. He was very accommodating and offered me a tour of the back store rooms. They were magnificent rooms. Since I didn’t have to worry about finding anything in them, I could appreciate their organizational beauty. With the reduced stress, I actually began to distinguish the fascinating details of various fittings. The engineering behind it all is amazing.
The Pipeco building in Nampa, on Garrity where meets 16th Avenue North, is an unassuming ancient white structure. I was told that it was the National Guard Armory until Pipeco bought it around 1980. The front door blends into the front wall like there might be some sort of chant or special moonlight required for opening. But the doorknob works. Out behind the building is a wonderful land of irrigation pipes, pond liners, pavers, and fire pit bricks. It is a landscape project paradise, all arranged in brilliant order.
Okay, maybe the organizer in me was getting carried away with all of the neat stacks, but you have to admit to the allure of the place. Shopping was like using a replicator on Star Treak, but for gardeners. You put in your order and out pops sprinkler parts! In this state of sprinkler happiness, I headed home for my lesson on how to assemble my treasures. That will be covered in Part 2 of my introduction to the ease of using Netafim, but I can tell you this now: It went well and we used fire in the process.