Watering cans for the garden have always held a sense of interest for me long before I started gardening myself. I think it’s mainly because their appeal extends far wider than just their practical use of watering the garden.
I’m not a big collector of anything, as some people consider the art of collecting. My mother collects frogs in many forms and sizes. My father collects eagles and lighthouses. I have friends who collect chickens, some who collect cars and others who collect stamps. Alas, I don’t collect anything…but if I did, watering cans would be my fetish.
I currently have a plastic 9L watering can which is the main source for providing moisture to my plants behind the irrigation, rainfall and garden hose. This watering can needs to be practical so aesthetics are far from important but when you discover some of the many other forms of watering cans for the garden you will realise, quite quickly, that aesthetics play a huge part in the selection of these charming gardening tools.
Don’t feel you have to scrimp on any watering can purchase either – if you want the Rolls Royce version that spreads envy through your garden buddies then pick up one of these. The sky’s the limit.
Copper watering can
As water increases in price it makes sense that dispensing it through a plastic vessel is hardly appropriate. One needs to invest in a copper watering can as one would employ an authentic amphora to pour a quality Italian red.
Seriously, I’m not sure I could justify purchasing one of these for a few mundane duties in the garden. If I were to collect watering cans, however, it would certainly be a different issue. This would be one of my first purchases.
Hammered Copper watering can
…but then if the copper watering can seems a little staid for your taste then maybe you could try a hammered version on for size. What will they think of next?
I don’t mind it really. The hammering effect seems to dull the colour of the copper a little and make it seem more rustic. The pitted surface also aids in keeping the water cooler during the summer months so that watering annuals in the midday sun is possible. No, that’s crap…I made that bit up.
Galvanized watering can
Now this is more my style. Rough and ready. No pomp and ceremony just itching to be utilised in a garden setting. Leave it laying in the garden all through the winter and you still won’t have noticed a change. Galvanized metal isn’t susceptible to rust through water alone but can rust via salt corrosion so make sure you keep it away from alkaline soils.
Galvanized watering cans are far superior to their metal predecessors and are easy to maintain.
Plastic watering can
However…there is one watering can that is far superior even to the galvanized version. A plastic watering can. Trusty, dependable and non-corrosive. If you leave this one out in the elements it may blow away but it won’t rust or fall to pieces. In fact, I’m sure that their breakdown period is almost Jurassic in length.
I’ve had a few of these over the years, replacing them only because the kids left them behind the car or under the trailer or I just felt like I needed a new one. If you only have one watering can for your gardening purposes then the plastic type is the way to go.
Indoor watering can
The last of the useful watering cans is the purpose made indoor or bonsai watering cans. Their long necks can easily access hard to reach pots and give you a few extra inches for lofty hanging baskets. Also, their water holding capacity is smaller than many other types making it easier to cart around.
There are plastic versions of these as well but if you’re planning to store it indoors you may want something a little more aesthetic to display.
Antique watering can – (vintage)
Antique or vintage watering cans are a collector’s “to-die-for” item. They will probably never see another drop of water inside them, however, this does not take away from their importance. They play an important role in setting the seen as part of the garden experience.
They can be displayed on a pedestal indoors or in the middle of an undercover, outdoor table. These look great as features in a conservatory but can even be appreciated as homewares, decorating amidst a group of other knick-knacks.
Brass watering can
A brass watering can is the epitome of elegance and a lack of functionality. Regardless, they look fantastic and every gardener needs one…well rich gardeners anyway. I shall merely gaze upon such beauty and daydream.
Maybe there’s a purpose for having a brass watering can. Perhaps, like their counterparts the copper watering cans, they too have a sense of proprietary within a gardener’s bag of tools. Brass is much more stately than copper though and I’d be surprised if one of these ever ventured out as utilised tool.
Ceramic watering can
And from the sublime….Okay. We’ve hit pay-dirt when it comes to non-functional, aesthetic home accessorising. Not only is this watering can ceramic but it also carries the figure of Betty Boop. Hardly a useful tool.
However, if you are still planning to collect them as a home/ garden trinket then possibly they might work for you. This one would most definitely need to stay indoors but there are many other ceramic watering cans that could easily be used as decorating items outdoors.
Painted watering can
And the piece d’resistance (I’m not sure my French was totally correct there) is of course the humble do-it-yourself painted watering can. These are big with folk painters who will mask the dull surface of a galvanized can with any plethora of country designs that takes their fancy. If you find one of these resting in someone’s home chances are they painted it themselves or had a friend/ mother-in-law do it for them.
They are very charming and due to the paints used are most definitely an indoor feature.