Gardening / Tool Box: Sheer practicality in black hose

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The Independent Online
'WHEN is a black hose green?' would make a good slogan for what the makers confidently describe as 'the beginning of a new generation of garden hose'.

Conventional hosepipes are plastic. The Porous Pipe is made from recycled car and truck tyres, which explains both its colour and its green credentials as an environmentally correct product. Designed for use on the surface, or buried a few inches below it, this is a 'soaker' hose. It saves water (and labour) by releasing thousands of droplets along its length, rather than jetting water from the nozzle.

The hose can be run off the mains, of course, but is particularly effective when used in conjunction with a butt or tank of rainwater.

It makes quite complex irrigation systems easy to install, because the low operating pressures mean simple connectors can be used, instead of clips. The recommended retail prices range from pounds 12.99 for a 7.5-metre hose to pounds 85.99 for 100 metres, but discounts are available at some outlets.

Part of this interesting and cost-effective product's appeal is the David-and-Goliath nature of the business. Porous Pipe, competing with big names such as Hozelock, consists of only seven people.

Porous Pipe Ltd, PO Box 2, Colne, Lancashire BB8 7BY (0282 871778).