Last autumn, at a trade show, I happened to chance upon the new collection of watering equipment by Flopro. Whilst on the stand, I explained to the attentive sales man that I had actually spent the entire summer tending my garden with a watering can. I was about to launch into a ‘feel these muscles’ bout of showing-off when he interjected with a look of concern (and a fair bit of raised “Bond eyebrow” when I mentioned I was a garden blogger) and said I simply must trial some of their new products. Back-pedalling (and letting my arms slump by my sides in a withered, pathetic fashion) I agreed that, indeed, I absolutely must.
Now, I had, in fact, already bought myself a hose and spray gun at Lidl… the only reason I hadn’t taken it out of its packet all summer was that I didn’t have an outside tap. And all my indoor taps were of an old-fashioned kind, that didn’t allow a hose adaptor to work on those either. The thought of getting in a plumber to install an outside tap made me feel a bit faint, as I’d already employed said-gentleman in the spring to fix my boiler at great expense, and I certainly didn’t want to see him again this side of Christmas.
So on I went, all through the summer, in and out of my bathroom with a watering can. On a hot day, I’d be in and out 20, 30, 40 times. In a bizarre way, I started to enjoy it. The monotony and pace meant that I was much more observant of the plants, the birds… my achy back… but boy, did it take up masses of time, and the linoleum in the bathroom turned as curly as a GWR sandwich from all the spillage.
Later in the year, my kindly dad (completely exasperated at my stubborn antics) paid to have a surprise tap put in one day whilst I was at work. I think this was the best pressie I’ve had for some time. But by then watering with a hose was not necessary, and the tap eventually got disconnected for the anticipated winter. The Flopro experiment was put on ice…
Now the thing I liked about the Lidl set (apart from the obvious economic scrimpery, £6.99?) was the fact the hose pipe was grey. Not bright yellow, or glaring green, or funky turquoise. I liked that it was not shouty (unlike most garden plastics), and would be camouflaged against the gravel, so I could leave it out all summer without it being an eyesore. But the Lidl spray attachment is woefully crap, to put it bluntly, and came apart after a few uses. You get, in the end, what you pay for…
So a few weeks ago, when some warm days eventually arrived, I cast aside the broken Lidl spray gun and rummaged in the shed for my Flopro stash of goodies and put them through their paces.
I won’t bore you with too many details, but I was immediately a convert. I have 2 clear favourites:
The Flopro Elite (all-metal) Hose Nozzle, which I love simply as a thing of beauty. No plastic, nicely weighted, solid (guaranteed no-leak, 10 year guarantee)… simply twiddle the end to get different spray effects, or to turn it off and on. It’s very stylish and would be great in a small urban garden. However, it’s nowhere near as practical and useful as:
The Flopro Elite Spray Gun This, basically, does everything: seven spray, mist and stream options, and a very handy thumb-wheel flow-control so it can be very gentle for seeds or full force to get mud off boots or to reach beds several metres away if the hose isn’t long enough (and the hose is never long enough, is it?) It has an additional easy-to-use lockable on-off trigger, so no achy hands. Also, despite a few bright plastic highlights, the majority of the body is a lightweight aluminium, so is actually perfect for my fussy tastes. A minor suggestion for design improvement (and something all spray attachments could do with) would be a click-on or pop-out leg, so that the head could be left to spray a bed while you get on with something else for those precious minutes (have you noticed how time-efficient I’ve now become?).
It probably won’t surprise you that this is the most expensive one in the Flopro range, but at only £21.19 I think it’s worth every penny.
I hope that Flopro will forgive me for not using their signature turquoise hose… perhaps they might consider a grey option for the future? And if they could add an all-aluminium model of the above spray gun… Ooh, yes, Mr Bond!
Many thanks to Flopro for giving me the chance to use their products. There are many more on their website, together with a list of other stockists.