OYA: Plant Irrigation the Traditional Way

Growing plants takes serious time, dedication and knowledge. Unfortunately many beginners lack those things, especially when it comes to the rising trend of (urban) gardeners who want to grow their own food locally.

The inventors of the Oya and founders of GrowOya, were inspired by an ancient irrigation technique and recreated it for a modern market. According to them, clay pot irrigation is a super high-efficiency watering system for home gardeners, providing water savings up to 70% compared to common surface irrigation. Additionally, watering becomes very easy because it needs to be done only every few days and without special know how.

Clay pot irrigation is a traditional form of localized irrigation where a clay pot is buried among the plants, with the neck sticking just above the soil, and filled with water every few days. The planted clay pot (called an Oya or olla) is made of unglazed porous clay allowing the water to slowly, efficiently seep out of the pot. Plant roots instinctively grow toward the water source and connect directly with the Oya which allows them to take exactly the water they need when they need it, neither more nor less. This is a highly efficient form of watering making life easier for gardeners and much better for plants.

The Oya has been used in agriculture-focused cultures dating back thousands of years. Spanish settlers brought Oyas to the Americas during colonial time (which is the derivation of the name olla). Clay pot irrigation is described more than 2000 years ago in the Chinese Fan Sheng-chih Shu (the first agricultural extension book).

GrowOya have developed the Oya in three different sizes, 2,3 and 4 foot in diameter, depending on how large the growing area is. The product is targeted explicitly to young, urban and eco-minded people who are new to gardening in their backyards, rooftops or community gardens. The suggested retail prices are around 30$, depending on the model.

Further information: growoya.com

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.


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