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The Garden Catalog

Where you one of those kids that grabbed the Toys-R-Us Christmas catalog and ran off to dream about what to ask Santa?

Are you a catalog Junkie now?

 I know I am. nothing gives me pleasure like sitting down and it comfy chair with a cup of coffee and a stack of catalogs to go through. Nothing except a stack of gardening catalogs.


 I’m amazed at how many new ways there are to promote gardening. From new types plants, to new types of tools with everything in between, the promotional ads are everywhere.

 There seems to be a gardening section in almost every catalog. From lawn ornaments, lawn furniture, outdoor lighting or tools and plants, the catalogs have a bit of everything. There’s such an array: you’re sure to find at least one or two things to mark on your wish list.

Personally, I love getting the catalogs with all of the new hybrid plants. Seeing your old favorites plants in a new light is exciting. The science behind developing these hybrids is fascinating, and the results can be surprising.


And then there’s the tools. I wish I had the imagination to come up with such tools! Tools I can’t live without; from gloves attached with finger shovels, to contraptions that help you carry things across the lawn. If there’s a need, there’s an invention. Even if there isn’t a need at this time, somebody will make a tool, creating a need for it.

 I think it’s exciting when it industry as old as time comes up with new items and new ideas. It says much about our quest for the perfect garden. And the desire for the easiest way to achieve those results without breaking your back. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the old tool from the new one. The changes maybe as small as a different angle of a blade, of a new material used in manufacturing.

Have you ever noticed that you have a favorite tool? No matter what new product comes on the market, you hold fast to your favorite. Perhaps someone special it gave to you? Or it might be because you’re hesitant about trying something new. Or maybe you’re simply set in your ways and content with the tools you have. After all, if they work, do you need to change them?

It doesn’t matter if you’re content with your old favorites, or not willing to try new things, because we all seem to be tempted to find out about the newest and the best out on the market. I’d be willing to be that the gardener in you will pick up a magazine and flip the pages out of curiosity, when no one else is looking.


I’ll say good bye for now, the mail carrier just delivered the newest magazine! Time to grab a glass of lemonade and find a shady spot in the garden…

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Love ’em or Hate ’em!

I think everybody will agree that the right tools for the job make the job go smoother.

There’s nothing worse than fighting with something when the right tool can make the job go so much faster and more efficiently. Getting the overall results you want with a lot less stress is the biggest advantage to find the perfect tool for the chore.


The Gardener is no exception and there’s a huge array of tools at our disposal to make our job easier and give us something to discuss. The newest tool on the market is just one commercial away. Most of us are eager to try them out and voice our opinion  whether they’re good or bad. We may fall back on our old favorites time and time again, but we do love to try the newest market trend.

 I believe it’s safe to say the most essential tool to a gardener is whatever means you use to get water to your newly planted plants. The most common methods would involve either a water bucket or a hose. Now, there’s not too much you can do to a water bucket to change it, other than make it a pretty color or change a bit of the design. But the overall working mechanics of a water bucket doesn’t change.


The garden hose is another story. It can either be your best friend, or your worst enemy. There are   many styles with great promises of being the perfect product on the market. You could spend an hour trying to figure out exactly which one you want. You can also spend a fortune on a garden hose. But, if you take it home, turn it on and it kinks up, then it wasn’t worth the time or money you paid. There’s nothing worse than getting part way to the plant you need  to be water and having the garden hose kink.

If you do have a problem, the best thing to do is to follow the hose back to the hose bib and figure out why the hose isn’t working properly. If the water is coming out at a trickle rather than full force, decide if the problem is at the water source or has the hose wrapped itself into a knot?

 A two-minute job has suddenly turned into a 10-minute fiasco, all because of the wrong tool. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve tried many styles, and I still haven’t found the perfect one. But I have learned a few lessons about how to use a hose, and here are a couple of tips that I can give you.

 1. If you can keep the water on while you’re winding up the hose you won’t get the Kinks. The exceptions  are the new expandable and retractable hoses. Unfortunately, if they hold too much pressure inside for long, they will burst.   You can agree,  that’s just as bad, because once they burst they are no good.

2. Another quick tip; if you’re near a pool and you can let your hose go across the water rather than across the decking, you’ll find it’s much lighter to move around. Often, kinks and twist in the hose will work themselves out when they’re in the water. I don’t know why, but it works to your advantage. Once your hose is all wrapped back up, release the pressure and let  the water out of it. This will help keep your hose from bursting as it builds up pressure in the heat of the day.  I think the best advice I can give you is to buy reinforced hose for your gardening work. I understand that it might be heavier than the retractable ones, but it will last the longest.  If your hose isn’t working properly, then take it to an area where you can expand it to the full length, and check for problems along the way. Once the job is done and the plants are watered, its time to step back and admire your work.

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 Use your tools to your advantage, not to your discouragement.