Velda‘s Floating Fish Dome is a Fish Eye for Garden Ponds

This stylish gadget allows pond owners to have close fascinating looks at their slippery friends.

More and more, people are coming to see that pond fish are social animals, and that interaction goes much further than just throwing a handful of feed into the pond and observing the fish. Watching fish becomes a unique experience with this floating perspex transparent ball in the pond. The fish come and take a peek in the ball regularly, and that produces fantastic images.

The Floating Fish Dome works best if the fish get used to it early on as a new source of food, by putting treats into the ball from below. After a while, they will include the ball in their daily route. The Floating Fish Dome is also an excellent method to check if the fish are healthy.

Velda will be present at the spoga+gafa garden trade fair in Cologne from August 30th to September 1st, 2015 in hall 10.1, stand A015/A021.

Further information: velda.com

Nominated for unique youngstar 2015: Showerbench by Felix Stadie

16 projects from young designers or design teams are nominated for the unique youngstar 2015 design award. The topic of this year’s contest is again “outdoor living”.

All nominated design prototypes will be exhibited at the international garden trade fair spoga+gafa 2015 in Cologne, Germany from August 30th until September 1st.

Showerbench

The Showerbench is a hybrid between a classic shower and a garden bench which will make showering even more relaxing. Rounded steel pipes give you the opportunity to sit down as well as simply place your towels or other garden utensils. The Showerbench is easily placed anywhere in your garden and can simply be attached to the garden hose. The colour combination with classic silver steel pipes (3/4 inch) and elegant bras details add a sculptural look to the simple design. The lenght of the bench can be chosen individual, since the object is based on a modular principle.

The three jury winners (1st to 3rd place) and the winner of the audience’s votes will be announced in Hall 10.2 on August 30th at 4 p.m.

Vote here for your favourite design and decide who will be the winner of the audience award!

Hozelock Pico Reel: Watering Small Garden Spaces

The Pico Reel is a practical irrigation solution for patios, balconies and small garden spaces.

The British company Hozelock designs, develops and manufactures products in the ranges of garden watering, garden pressure sprayers, pond equipment and high pressure cleaners. Within Britain, they are one of the market leaders in their niche and over 40 percent of their products are being exported overseas.

The Pico Reel garden hose has been designed specifically for gardeners with only small spaces available. It allows a convenient watering of plants with minimum fuss or effort. It can be left at the tap or put away when  connected to a longer hose. The low profile winding handle makes rewinding the hose quite easy, whilst the enclosed design keeps the hosepipe tidy and tangle free. The integrated feeder hose can be stored.

The compact design easily allows the Pico Reel to be stored out of sight either behind some pots, in the shed or even in a cupboard indoors. This ensures that the small garden space remains clutter free and tidy.

Hozelock will be exhibiting their latest products at the spoga+gafa trade fair in Cologne from August 30th to September 1st 2015.

Further information: hozelock.com

3 Questions to: Peter Petrich (BIOTOP Landschaftsgestaltung GmbH)

The Austrian company BIOTOP, one of the major pioneers in the field of natural pools, more than 25 years ago introduced something completely new to the market: an alternative to the classic pool and its use of chemicals. Since 1985 Peter Petrich has been managing partner of the Biotop Landschaftsgestaltung GmbH. For its 30th anniversary the company takes a jump over the ocean with the objective to become the No. One in natural pools in the US.

What are your arguments to convince US consumers?
Petrich: The main argument will most likely be that you can have a pool in your backyard that can provide crystal clear water without any use of chemicals. You can have a wonderful lifestyle secure in the knowledge that you are doing the “right” thing. You can protect the health of your children and friends, and simultaneously contribute to the preservation of natural resources. Fun, luxury and the sustainment of nature – this all comes together in our pools. Anyone who made a jump in our show pools noticed that natural, living water feels different on your skin. But that can’t be described in words. Ultimately you have to swim in our pools yourself to experience it.

What target groups do you want to appeal to in the US?

Petrich: As in Europe we want to appeal to the upper end of pool owners. BIOTOP provides high-quality products and here we don’t want to make any concessions on the quality of the materials used. The investment in a Natural Pool or a Living Pool is an investment for two to three generations.  The grandchildren of our customers today should be able to say: “Our grandparents were very forward-minded when they invested in the pool.” This can only be the case when one relies on high quality.

The US is the largest market for pools in the world, with an extremely high density of pools. Do you think that there is still potential for a newcomer like BIOTOP?
Petrich: Of course there is potential for us. In a country that has more than10 million swimming pools, old pools often need to be overhauled and revamped.  For this we have a Converter System in our program, which allows traditional pools to be upgraded to Living Pools at surprisingly low cost and effort. We also believe that many landscape architects and designers will take our pools into their considerations in designing or redesigning gardens.

Further information: biotop-natural-pool.com

3 Questions to: Anja Dame-Matsumoto (Takagi Co., Ltd.)

The Japanese family enterprise Takagi has more than 50 years of experience in producing metal and plastic injection moulds for the industry. In 1980 they expanded their product range with watering products for home and garden. Today Takagi is the market leader in this industry in Japan. Their name stands for innovative high-quality irrigation technology.

Takagi’s first representative office in Europe was founded in 2012. Anja Dame-Matsumoto coordinates the brand development from the European Takagi Co., Ltd. office in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has lived in Japan for 26 years.

Mrs. Dame-Matsumoto, in Japan Takagi is selling faucets for bathrooms and kitchens among other things. Why do you reduce your European product range to irrigation systems for gardens, balconies and terraces?
Dame-Matsumoto: We think that our market entry in Europe will be most successful with our irrigation systems, because we see a great demand for well-functioning and high-quality tools. Gardening is a hot topic, especially in Europe. And we distinguish ourselves from other producers because we offer new and innovative solutions for the urban gardener with small spaces.

What are the main differences between the European and the Japanese market?
Dame-Matsumoto: There are fundamental differences. A large part of the inhabitants in Japan lives in densely populated areas where they have very small balconies and rarely more than 50 square metres of space available for a garden. On this limited space the Japanese people care for and water their herbs and plants very lovingly. When watering, it is very important that the soil doesn’t splash around and that the flowers and leaves of the often precious and fragile plants don’t get damaged. The hose drum is not supposed to take up much space, because there are almost no storage areas. Another factor is the climate. During summer the humidity is very high and the temperatures are around 40 degrees. No Japanese wants to be in the garden at those times. Because of their short vacations – one week maximum at a time – there is no great demand for watering during holidays. There is also a difference in the consumer base. In Japan our customers are mainly women, this is why all our tools and accessories are designed for ergonomics, easy handling and absolute waterproofness.

You prefer the specialised trades distributing your irrigation systems in Europe, why is that?
Dame-Matsumoto: We only manufacture products of very high quality with a long lifespan that are not sold because they are cheap. We offer the specialised traders a range which satisfies demanding customers. The specialised trades also appreciate our low complaint rate of 0.03 per cent in Japan. Because we are new on the European market and not that well-known yet, it is also very important for us that the customers are being well informed at the point of sale.

Further information: eu.takagi.co.jp