Colapz, the UK’s first folding garden watering can

colapz-folding-watering-can

Like shears and lawnmowers, watering cans are an irrefutably necessary gardener’s tool. Despite the somewhat hoary ubiquitous popularity of watering cans, it has to be said that unless you’ve got an ample-sized shed, these big and bulky items take up way too much room. Watering cans are also one of those long-standing items that have seemed to resist the advances of modern technology – after all, how can you make something a basic and uncomplicated as a watering can more sophisticated?

Nottingham-based product design and manufacturing consultants Sorcit claim to have come up with the answer to sophisticate such a ‘down-to-earth’ device in the form of a fold-up watering can.  Ingeniously named Colapz, the UK’s first folding watering can is justifiably poised to become this year’s “must have” outdoor item.

Funky to look at and easy to collapse, the biggest asset of this innovative gardening gadget is that it won’t take up so much room in our grossly over-occupied garden sheds. Being just 24cm in diameter, 10cm in depth and folding to a flat circular shape, this lightweight watering can will store away discreetly, meaning that tripping over it every time we enter the shed or garage is no longer a concern. Despite its compact potentialities, the Colpaz can hold nine litres of water meaning that gardeners can save valuable time and energy by not having to keep refilling an insufficiently-sized watering can.

What’s more, being made from 100% recyclable materials, this durable gardening tool adheres to modern manufacturers’ responsibilities be create products that are favourable to the environment.

Other features of the Colapz that prove that watering cans are at last becoming more sophisticated is its integral splashguard, its moulded feet to protect the base, and a level indicator which will help gardeners when mixing in fertilizers and other additives.

Asides many of us owning a dejectedly small  shed, more and more occupiers of flats, apartments and studios in cities and towns are getting on the gardening trail by having roof or balcony gardens or even allotments. In being able to crush down to a flat circular shape, the Colapz would make a great tool for gardeners with seriously limited space.

Available in several funky colours, including Blood Red, Candy Pink and Lime Green and costing a refreshingly modest £19.99, we have to admit, the Colapz would make a great Christmas present for any discerning gardener.

Check out our hands-on video of the Colapz:

Pre-order a Colapz ahead of the festive rush at http://www.colapz.com/.

Here comes the rain – get it sorted with Xylem’s pumps

As I write this we are enjoying the tail end of a tropical storm, and the rain is pouring down outside the windows. So it seems quite apt that I am writing about a rainwater pump – although maybe not so apt that it’s solar powered.

Xylem-Pumps

It’s all very well collecting rainwater in your water butts, and even using grey water – from baths and washing up – in your garden. But actually getting it out of your chosen receptacle can be a bit of a chore.

The RainPerfect solar-powered rainwater pump aims to make the task simple by pumping stored rainwater at up to 0.9 bar through an ordinary garden hose, making it easier to water all around the garden, even if you have a sloping site.

Xylem

The pump also lets you use low-pressure sprinklers or use a hand spray nozzle. The RainPerfect pump can fit onto the top of most water butts and barrels, and as it has no wires, and no running costs, is a cheap option. So if you pay for your water on a meter, you’re wining twice over – lower water bills and no electricity charges either.

The RainPerfect solar-powered pump costs £94.99 from retailers. See www.rainperfectpump.com for more.

The makers, Xylem, also make the new AquaCharge portable pump, should you wish to get rid of water (which also might be quite handy if this weather continues!)

The pump is powered by a rechargeable battery and can be used to pump out aquariums, garden ponds and even hot tubs. It’s also useful for DIY tasks such as unblocking sinks and baths, and washing machines that won’t empty.

The AquaCharge has its own 2.4 metre (8ft) hose or can be connected to a standard garden hose.

It costs £61.55 inc VAT from retailers and from www.jabscoshop.com.

Garden gadgets roundup

Summer’s here, it’s time to get out in the garden and enjoy the sunshine (hopefully) while you can. But don’t leave your gadgets behind! We’ve found some great al fresco gear for the long hot summer ahead (yes, we are trying to be optimistic!).

Garden-Gadgets

Anyone who’s tried to use matches to light the Barbie with a gale force wind blowing (well, we Brits are pretty resilient when it comes to al fresco dining) will appreciate the brilliance of the Zippo Flexible Neck Outdoor Utility Lighter. Like its famous stablemates, it’s windproof, so even in the worst weather you’ll still be able to light fires and candles without burning your fingers and impress your family with your BBQ prowess. Available in black matte or chrome it’s a very reasonable £13.70.
www.zippo.co.uk

Once the barbie’s lit, you’ll need some sounds. We’ve been to many a barbie where the music’s died halfway through because the battery has run down on the iPod, so how about the Solar Sound 2 portable stereo speakers? The system plays music wirelessly via Bluetooth, while charging its battery from the integrated solar panel – now that’s what we call multitasking! Produced by Devotec, this is the second generation of this system, with improved sound quality, louder maximum volume and less distortion at higher levels. Playing time from a charged battery is between five and 10 hours, but of course if it’s in the sun, it can keep going! The Solar Sound 2 works with almost every model of phone that has Bluetooth and the A2DP profile; iPhones, Nokias, Blackberries and so on. £69.99 from here

If you want to listen to the summer of sport while you’re catching some rays, then the latest digital radio from Vita Audio should be on your shopping list. The Vita Audio R1 MkII has impressive credientials: its predecessor was dubbed the Aston Martin of digital radios by the Daily Telegraph. The new radio offers greater control over bass and treble, has an input for playing sounds from an iPod or other music player and has an optional CarryPack in tan or black full-grain leather for greater portability. Prices from £159.99 (CarryPack £39.99). From House of Frasier, John Lewis and Selfridges or www.vitaaudio.com

As long as your garden’s big enough, you can take a trip back in time to the heydays of 80s TV and this remote control Airwolf helicopter replica from Heliguy.com. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 60mph, it’s a pricey toy at £299.99, but think of the fun you’ll have! Recommended for the more experienced flyer, so get it out before you start on the tinnies.www.heliguy.com

If you’re actually planning to do some work in the garden, rather than just sitting back and relaxing – and you’ve got a spare £799 to spare – you could invest in an electric autobarrow to take the weight off your shoulders. This battery-powered wheelbarrow is designed to take the effort out of moving heavy stuff such as turf, paving slabs and plants. It has a semi-automatic tipping mechanism to make unloading easier too.
If the price tag is a tad heavy for your taste, you could soften the blow with its green credentials – no fumes, and an eco-friendly 250-watt electric motor.
Available from the Really Useful Vehicle Company.

A far cheaper addition to your gardening arsenal is GardenID, an iPhone app that tells you what to grow when based on your location. Once your location is set, you can choose the right fruit and veg to grow for the time of year, follow full steps for planting, growing and harvest – and read lots of helpful tips. There’s even a facility for identifying and solving any gardening problems.
More at: here or download from the AppStore for $2.99

The Royal Horticultural Society has just upgraded its Grow Your Own iPhone app. Now, on top of the 20 fruit and veg listed in the free app, you can add another 16 for £1.79. The upgrade includes calendar alerts to remind you what to do when in your garden, frost alerts based on location and watering reminders and drought alerts, also based on location. More upgrades, adding on extra varieties, are expected to follow.
Log on here
Or download from the App Store.