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herman de vries

Balancing Water

Ceramics by Harley Weir
Balancing Water
The Plant

Scheltens & Abbenes

Tom Budding

Story from Issue 12
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The pouring and balance of a watering can has always been its most important feature. In 1886, after a living in Mauritius growing vanilla with his wife, John Haws returned to London. Unhappy with the ‘pouring cans' of the time and frustrated with their bulky and uncomfortable feel he set about creating a new generation of cans from his Lower Clapton workshop.He experimented and found that a long nose with a low spout position gives length and counterbalances the water canister. The addition of dual handles for pouring and carrying was a major development and the cans quickly became popular for their balanced feel. They would comfortably pour and tip regardless of how full of water they were. Balancing water was key to the new design, and the dual handle and long nose have gone on to inspire many more contemporary designs that exist today.

Forges de Mange, France
11 Litre

Large capacity, plastic watering can with removable rose head sprinkler from France. Large half-moon handle design. Has benefits of the dual handle models but the elegance of a single handle on an oval French pot-style body. Many people prefer a large volume can in a lightweight plastic as they can become very heavy when filled. This large size is recommend-ed for outdoor use on large planters and flowerbeds.

Strata, UK
7 Litre

The boxy space-saving design from Nottinghamshire, England. Incredibly practical and comfortable-to-use dual handle shape.Very reminiscent of the classic Kenneth Grange Geeco watering can, now out of production. The large capacity but small size makes it perfect for greenhouses, window boxes, balconies and small gardens. Includes coarse detachable sprinkler rose head for concentrated pour in.

Draper tools, UK
2 Litre

Handy plastic watering can from Hampshire, England.The petite size makes it ideal for smaller watering tasks or where ladder access is required (hanging baskets).The long thin spout can effortlessly reach awk-ward areas. Ideal for the indoor plants, hanging baskets, window boxes and balconies.

Plastime, Italy
6 Litre

From Northern Italy, an Italian design classic, compact and neat. A great example of the Italian flair for making everyday objects beautiful. The multi-angle handle and distinctive square shape marry functionality and aesthetics perfectly. Pictured here is the 6-litre plastic model that serves well as an all-round watering can for small gardens, large terraces or balconies. Includes a removable rose head sprinkler.

123EDA Plastiques, France
11 Litre

All types of filling cans can be used for watering. EDA Plastiques, best known for plastic sleds and snow shovels, produce a water transfer-ring can that's great for watering plants. The large filling cap is easy to fill directly from a tap or water butt and the small nose helps direct water where needed. With a dual handle barrel design, the most prominent feature is the removable cap on each end that keeps snails out when stored outside.

Haws, UK
4.5 Litre

Haws watering can from Lower Clapton, England. Extremely practical and durable. Noted for their ease of pour and tip regardless of how full of water they are. Along with their quality, this led them to become the gardener’s choice of watering can. The brass rose head sprinkler is known for its superior even ‘fine as rain’ spray. Pictured here is the original outdoor 4.5-litre long nose design in powder-coated metal. The extra long spout is ideal for reaching the back of flowerbeds and denser foliage.

Negishi, Japan
4 Litre

Bonsai only watering can from Tokyo, Japan. In 1944, roofing craftsmen for shrines and temples used their knowledge of materials and set about manufacturing watering cans. They now produce some of the finest cans in Japan. This 4-litre, stainless steel, rainwater exposure No. 4 model is specifically made for the delicacies of tending to a bonsai. And as with many Japanese things, the craft of making the object and its use are considered in equal measure.

Xala, Belgium
12 Litre

Lungo by Xala watering can from Belgium designed by Davy Grosemans. By enlarging the familiar proportions of a coffee pot it becomes a very functional and visually engaging watering can. The dual handles make for easy carrying and pouring. This large 12-litre capacity can is suitable for larger gardens and planters.

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