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Gifts for gardeners

12/18/03 12:00AM By Charlie Nardozzi
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(Host) Still looking for the perfect gift for the gardener on your list? Commentator Charlie Nardozzi says that there are some interesting new gardening products on the market that you might consider.


(Nardozzi) One of the perks of being a garden writer is that manufacturers are always trying to get you to test their "stuff." Free samples either come in the mail unsolicited or are available simply for the asking. Sometimes, they don't even question if I'm really a garden writer working on a magazine article or just an obsessed gardener looking for a free hand out.

Since it's the holidays and gift giving is on everyone's mind, I thought to mention a few new gardening products I've seen that might fit under your Christmas tree.

One of the essential garden tools is a good wheelbarrow or garden cart. There are many makes and shapes, each with it's own unique features. However, the Low Rider Cart is something new to me. One of the difficulties with using a wheelbarrow to move heavy objects is getting them loaded. I don't care how nicely the cart rolls, if I can't get the tree or rock in the bed in the first place, I'm not going anywhere. The Low Rider Cart solves this by replacing the wooded or metal body of the wheelbarrow with a heavy-duty canvas. The canvas is attached to a lightweight metal frame and 13 inch pneumatic tire. Just roll the Low Rider wheelbarrow up to the object in question and lay it flat. Then push the rock or tree onto the canvas, lift, and cart it away. The canvas will hold up to 350 pounds of weight.

Window boxes are all the rage; however, most I've seen attach to deck railings with unsightly metal brackets. That's why the Saddle Planter caught my attention. It's a 25-inch long polyethylene planter that's designed with a saddle in the middle. The planter fits snuggly over a 2x4 or 2x6 inch wooden railing without brackets or clamps.

Finally, for the artistic gardener, hand-crafted gardening containers, tools, and ornaments from France can make your garden look a little like the old country. One French import that's particularly intriguing is the Hackberry Fork. This garden fork is grown as much as it is manufactured. Seeds of a native French hackberry are sown in fields, and after 5 years the sprouts are cut down and fashioned into a garden fork. It was traditionally used as a hay fork, but looks as if it would be equally good for spreading mulch and turning compost piles. What a cool story to tell friends.

This is Charlie Nardozzi from Shelburne.

Charlie Nardozzi is an all-around gardening expert with a special fondness for tomatoes and roses. For more information and the text of this commentary, go to VPR-dot-net and click on news, then commentaries.


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