Posts Tagged ‘british’

Lee Valley Sale, or Why I Bought a $72 Watering Can


Lee Valley is running free shipping sale through this weekend. Good thing too — our nasty neighbor has decided that we cannot use the hose on the roof anymore, so we ordered another large Haws’ watering can.

Without access to the hose, we’ve been making double and triple trips down to our apartment to fill up our watering cans and take them too the roof. I like to think that this is keeping us fit and making sure we don’t waste a drop of water.

Now $72 is a lot to pay for a watering can!! But when you’re taking two trips up and down three flights of stairs trying not to splash water on the co-op carpet, you might as well treat yourself. We’ve also found that the rose — aka watering can nozzle — helps to direct water to our containers, where as the plastic Home Depot cans drip and spill. Plus we’re starting to fall for the romance of hardworking, beautiful British gardening tools.

We’ll let you know if we’ve completely lost it or if the $72 Haws fetches water 10 times better than the $7 Home Depot plastic job.

Want to see where the Haws obsession started and learn more about their company? Here’s my first post about Haws.


A London Rooftop Vegetable Garden


Check out Dom’s rooftop garden in Hackney, London. This is his first year in this building, so he call this vegetable garden “a big experiment.”

Dom’s tomatoes are growing in grow bags — “really just bags full of peat/compost/growing soil that are specially designed for vegetables and fruit,” he explained. “They’re great for vegetables in confined spaces but their one major drawback is that you can never tell how dry or wet they are.”

We haven’t had any problems with rodents in our garden here in NYC, but Dom’s not so lucky. “Rocket, spinach and lobelia all failed because the squirrels tampered with the soil, sending seeds everywhere. Grey squirrels are a real problem in London.”

For more pictures of Dom’s London garden, check out his Flickr page.

A Haws Watering Can for R*’s Birthday


We lug the water for our roof garden up from our second floor apartment to the fifth floor roof. So we’ve been hunting for a watering can that was balanced, sturdy, and … yeah we wanted something beautiful too.


When we couldn’t find a galvanized metal watering can at any of the local hardware stores, we just went with a green plastic watering can from Home Depot (about $4). It gets the job done, but it isn’t balanced or elegant.  And the water pours out unevenly and too much water drips to roof and never hits the plants.

Enter John Haw who solved the problem back in 1885 with his “Improved Watering Pot.”

This is the BMW of watering cans, but a worthy treat, especially since they are made in Smethwick, West Midlands in the UK, about 15 mines from where R* comes from. The Haws can is totally balanced and the removable brass “watering rose” can be turned to prevent drips as we go up and down the stairs.


I chose this Haws V122 Slimcan in fade-resistant Titanium for R*. The slimmer size makes it easier to store. But the Biriths racing green round can is the Haws classic.

Here’s a detailed guide for selecting the Haws watering can that’s right for your roof garden. I couldn’t find a local store selling Haws. Let me know if you find one in NYC.

Happy Birthday, R*! Now a few more days without rain and we’ll get a chance to test drive our Haws.

Images: Haws