That's Soil, Folks!: Garden Gear That's Not Garden Variety
No more shabby shrubs with these helpful tools.
If you're lucky enough to have a garden -- even just a few flower beds -- chances are it's in need of work after a long winter of neglect. No one, except maybe Martha Stewart, looks particularly fashionable while getting down and dirty, but here are the freshest accessories to help you remain stylish while shucking soil and wiping out weeds -- plus ultra tools to make nature do your bidding.
Dress up a basic pail with the Fiskars Garden Bucket Caddy for singlehanded double duty: Load soil and supplies inside and slip tools, seeds, a water bottle -- even a cell phone (if you must) -- into variable-size slots, pockets, and mesh pouches wrapped around its perimeter. What good are tools if you can't find 'em? $13 at Fiskars.
Though the maker of the shapely OXO Pour & Store Watering Can recommends it for indoor use, its skinny spout is perfect for prepping plants before they go into the ground, watering hard-to-reach window boxes, or, with its stow-away spray attachment, dampening delicate rosebushes. Then swing the translucent measuring neck inward and slide this bright beauty into the slimmest spot on your supply shelf. $15 at Oxo.
Squishy nubs on Brookstone's ergonomic, moisture-blocking gel pads let you focus on removing rocks from your garden, not from beneath your kneecaps. $35 at Brookstone.
Credit: Bionic Glove, Crocs, Radius Garden
Fit for both dainty planting and landscape overhauls of superhero proportions, Bionic Extended Wear Gardening Gloves protect your paws without sacrificing dexterity, thanks to flexible, resilient cabretta leather. Stitched with Tough-Ex-topped fingertips and padded in just the right places, these gloves prove it is possible to toil for hours without ending up with a bumper crop of blisters. $40 at Bionic Glove.
Best in Shoe
The award goes to feather-light Crocs, those de rigueur plastic clogs that give you a comfortable, colorful, and waterproof alternative to clumsy mud boots or those grungy old Keds. New for 2006: The Aspen, made for cooler climates, without perforations, features the brand's signature orthotic design and slip-resistant soles, camouflaged by sleek Italian styling. $40 ($30 for kids) at Crocs.
Get a Grip
Many gardeners pay for their green thumbs with an aching wrist, but the curved handle of the new Natural Radius Grip Trowel positions wrists in a neutral position to maximize the force behind each scoop while minimizing strain. But aside from grip comfort, the tool's aluminum-magnesium alloy blade has plenty of heft, and beveled edges that end in a square tip to dig into tight spaces. $13 at Gardening with Ease and Radius Garden.