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

Gre: Above Ground Pools with Rattan Cover

The Spanish company Manufacturas Gre is one of the leaders in Europe when it comes to above ground pools for the garden. They are offering a wide range of products, including pools in several sizes and in different styles, and accessories for pool maintenance.

Their latest range of pools is equipped with hulls made of rattan. They integrate seamlessly into many outdoor places. This style of pools gives a fresh and sophisticated look and turns terraces and gardens into the perfect places to enjoy leisure time and relax.

Rattan is a material that resembles wicker but has different fibers that create much more striking combinations. This type of decoration is not only used in furniture, the latest pools combine rattan decoration in the outer wall of the pool with steel profiles in grey color.

A pool that is integrated into the garden stands out and gives an added value to it. Rattan pools become the perfect complement to any garden or terrace maintaining natural materials and preserving the taste for elegance.

Manufacturas Gre offers various models in different heights: 120 and 132cm, round or oval shapes and sizes ranging from a diameter of 350 to 550cm, and oval pools with a length up to 730cm and a width up to 375cm.

Gre has been exhibitor at the spoga+gafa 2014 in Cologne.

Further Information: gre.es

Esteras Planters and Fountains by Emsa: The Beauty of Authenticity

The Esteras line by Emsa is characterized by excellent craftsmanship, top materials and a fine sense for forms, colours and surfaces. All products of this line are handmade.

The SmartLine planters by Esteras are flat and round shaped containers with stone surface finishes. Their look is sophisticated and natural and designed to harmonize with puristic surroundings. In 2015, the line is for the first time available in taupe. The other existing tones are black, black structure, grey and grey structure. The SmartLine planters are durable and resistant to light and frost.

The NatureLite containers are made with authentic and natural looking surfaces with tones like rust, warm concrete and lead. The new colour for 2015 is graphite, which gives the planters an elegant slate look. The vases and cachepots of this line have a genuine look but are up to 70% lighter than heavy ceramic materials. Their simple and modern shapes will impress customers with a love for timeless planters.

Esteras is expanding their FountainsLite range for 2015 with the SmartWater fountains. These handmade globes and cylinders have a modern design and authentic surface finishes in grey or black with glossy steel. The fountains are equipped with warm glowing LED lights, which provide for a cozy atmosphere. Of course they are lightweight as well and for retail they come in a practical “take-away packaging”. The fountains are ready to use and need no separate water connection. A pump is included.

Further Information: esteras.de

Graf Rainwater Tanks – Adding a Decorative Touch to the Garden

The rainwater specialist Otto Graf is expanding its huge range of decorative rainwater tanks and extraction units. The new multi-functional Stone 2in1 rainwater tank, the Barrica water butt and the Roma and Venezia stone fountains all combine functionality with design.

Stone 2in1: natural stone look rainwater tank

Following the successful launch of the Color 2in1 product range, Graf is adding the Stone 2in1 product range to its tanks. These tanks are characterized by their smooth granite look surfaces available in silver and lava colours. The simple lines fit particularly well with the restrained colours. Like the multi-award-winning Color 2in1, the new range has two functions. Firstly, the rainwater tank can hold 350 l of water and secondly, it can be individually decorated with a plant cup. Thanks to its height and conical shape, the Stone 2in1 only needs a space of 62 cm in diameter. The Stone 2in1 is available with two integrated brass threads. The design chrome tap, available as an option, further enhances the tank.

Barrica water butt: rustic wooden look

Fans of the rustic style will love Graf’s new Barrica water butt. The 260 l capacity butt looks like a wooden wine barrel. The removable lid is very handy, allowing water to be easily taken out with a bucket or watering can. The lid is also child-proof. The rustic look water butt is available with an additional convenient connection for extracting water using the universal hose set or for fully draining before the frosts set in. To ensure that leaves and dirt don’t enter the rainwater tanks, Graf recommends fitting the Speedy rain collector. The filter is fitted in the downpipe, retains large dirt particles and automatically prevents overflowing when the tank is full. In the winter, the inlet to the tank can be shut off.

Venezia and Roma stone fountains: bella figura

The new Roma and Venezia stone fountains are a stylish, yet easy to install extraction unit. Manufactured from weather-resistant plastic and available in light granite or red stone, these fountains with an attractive natural stone look are fine additions to Mediterranean gardens in particular. The stone fountains are supplied pre-assembled. The low-weight plastic fountains are very easy to install. The fact that the fountains can be connected from below using a standard ¾-inch hose connection makes them particularly useful. Not only are they suited to connection to the drinking water system, they can also serve as an additional extraction point if part of a complete system with underwater rainwater tank. Water is extracted via a nostalgic-looking tap.

Further Information: graf.info

Winner of the Red Dot Award 2014: Watering Solutions from Japan by Takagi

Takagi is a Japanese family enterprise, founded by Toshio Takagi in 1961 . They started out as a manufacturer for precision metal and synthetic casting moulds for the industry and turned out to be the leading producer for watering products in Japan today.

Their products are compact, extremely lightweight, easy to handle and made from durable ABS-plastics. One of the products new features is the soft and gentle water stream with an impressive range that is produced by specially moulded conic holes in the head. According to the company, they have a complaint rate of 0.03%, a sign of the customers satisfaction.

Winner of the Red Dot Award 2014: The Premium Nozzle (Handy Type)

This allround nozzle can be used for various watering purposes. The design is ergonomic, functional and gives a safe grip.

It is constructed for a simple use with one hand. The Premium Nozzle has four continuously variable water streams, which are adjusted with the thumb. The “One-click function” allows a one-handed locking of the water stream.

Watering Wand

The Watering Wand makes it possible to target plants and flowers that are out of reach. When the water is flowing, it balances lightly in the hand. The grip is made of soft rubber and is easy to hold with a wet hand. Just as the Premium Nozzle it has four different spray patterns and the one-click locking mechanism.

Compact Hose Reel

The Compact Hose Reel is a watering set for small gardens, balconies, terraces and for different outdoor activities. It includes a hose (10 or 15 meters), a supply hose with the Compact Nozzle and a storage case. It is under two kilos in weight, but very durable. The hose itself has a special coating, making it easier to rewind and not twisting. Japanese compactness and practicality make it a handy solution and an alternative to the old fashioned hose drum.

In Germany, a selection of Takagi products is available in numerous garden centers and they are constantly expanding their range.

Visitors of the spoga+gafa 2014 will be able to have a close look at their watering innovations in hall 6.1 at stand C029.

Further Information: global.takagi.co.jp