When most people think of hosepipes, they think of the standard garden hose: a long, green snake-like flexible pipe that can be used to take water from a garden tap and spray it out into the garden. However, hosepipes are more complicated than that.
To begin with, for the garden hose, there are all sorts of attachments you can add to make it do more useful things than just shooting a jet of water. You can add a sprayer, which acts as a kind of water gun, making it so your hose will only squirt water when you pull the trigger – essential if you want to focus on a specific area of your garden instead of just making all of it wet.
You can also attach a sprinkler to your hosepipe, which will spray small jets of water in all directions – good for leaving in the middle of some grass or other plants, so they all get watered.
The biggest problem with hosepipes, however, is that, come the summer, many places impose what is known as a ‘hosepipe ban’. This is an effort by water companies or governments to save water during the dry summer months, but it frustrates many gardeners by making it effectively illegal to water their gardens during the months that it is most needed – it is extremely frustrating to be kept from watering your plants during a drought. All kinds of sprinklers are generally included in hosepipe bans, too.
However, there is a simple way of getting around hosepipe bans, by buying something called a bowser. A bowser is basically a very large watering can with a hosepipe-like attachment for spraying the water on your garden. It has roughly the same effect as a hosepipe, but because it is technically closer to a normal watering can, it evades the ban – and the water companies are happy for you to do this, as bowsers waste far less water than just plugging a hose straight into the tap.
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