Gardening: Tool Box

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The Independent Online
AS A freelance writer, I am often envied for leading a life that is one long holiday. In truth, two relatively work-free weeks a year is nearer the mark.

Cats, lawns and swimming-pool all need attention when we do take a break. So do the vast number of indoor plants collected by Mrs Llewellin.

Help has now arrived in the shape of the Holiday Watering Set from Gardena: an electrically-powered pump and transformer, plus pipes and three 12-outlet distributors whose flow rates cater for plants with different watering needs. Plastic pegs, about 4in long, keep the pipes in the plant pots.

Although not very practical, I needed only 15 minutes to read the instructions, assemble the set and make sure it was working properly. The pump automatically operates for one minute in each 24-hour period, switching on at a pre-selected time. It also reactivates itself after a power failure. The full set costs about pounds 60, but you can save pounds 10 by using an ordinary bucket instead of the recommended container.

Gardena UK Ltd, Dunhams Lane, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire SG6 1BD (0462 686688).

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