PlantTherapy: Vintage Tin Gets a New Life

PlantTherapy: Vintage Tin Gets a New Life

Maxwell Ryan
Jun 9, 2007

John Haws may have set the standard for watering cans, but it has by no means been the only choice over the years.

Martha Stewart Living's current issue showcases the beauty and variety of vintage tin watering cans, their 'new favorite collectible', which means they will soon become scarce at the antique shops and flea markets. The article made me recall the old tin watering cans my grandparents owned, their cool feel, and how the surface scratches and dents became a diary of their constant use.

Watering cans have a simple purpose and common functional components, yet seem almost endless in their variety (just like the flowers they water). And just as flowers have developed uniquely to fulfill their own purposes of pollenation, many of these cans were adapted in shape, color and size to satisfy specific gardening - and aesthetic - demands.

The many watering cans in the article's photos are from a time before plastics changed industry, and possibly have been retired since that time. The weathering of the materials makes the cans in the photos feel like portraits of faces full of character. Whether they can still hold water or not almost seems besides the point.

Photographs by Gentl & Hyers for Martha Stewart Living

matt at apartmettherapy dot com

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