Going onis always a problem, and it is not necessarily best to let a helpful neighbour look after your prize collection while you are away. A fortnight of well inten-tioned but over-enthusiastic could be fatal. Don’t leave your plants shut up in a room. If the inside doors are open they will benefit from a flow of air. Leave them out of direct sunlight and standing next to each other so that they produce their own damp microclimate. An empty bath is a good place for this.
There are several kinds. Capillary mats are suitable for plants in plastic, but not clay pots, as these absorb too much moisture. There are hollow ceramic ornaments with porous spikes which release water gradually into the . You can make a self-watering device with a plastic bottle by piercing a hole through the stopper, upending the bottle and pushing it into the soil. You can also use lengths of thick wool with one end in a jar of water and the other lying on top of the compost.