First, a "consummate gardener" already has all of the tools that are in here, and much better quality than those that are offered in this basket. (I have a shed chock-full of tools, and I'm certain they wouldn't fit in any basket.) And if this is "everything" I need to till and toil in the soil, well there won't be too many flowers or much of anything in my garden this summer!
Next, the thing needs to be washed by hand. Don't know about you all, but my gardening things are hose-off or not allowed in my garden! And the candle really gave me a chuckle. While I truly believe in the power of citronella, the tiny little candle probably won't come in too handy as we trudge through our gardening tasks this summer. Good thought, not too effective.
And last, but not least - $168! Who are they kidding? I don't mind paying top dollar for good tools, but that's pretty steep for these goods. Give me a good pair of Felco pruners and you can keep the apron. You can get a good pair of Felco Model 2 pruners (the company's most popular model) for less than $50, and they'll last forever.
If you're looking for a better gift for a loved one, I heard about a new trend in wedding gift-giving. Young couples are getting practical and creative in their gift registries. In larger cities, garden centers have gift registries for brides and grooms so wedding attendees can give them a plant, fountain, garden tool or something for the yard that's just what the couple wants. Locally, TerraSalis has a gift registry that allows couples or individuals to register for items they need/would love to have and then friends can go to TerraSalis and purchase the items knowing they are a perfect fit. Great idea.
The January 2008 issue of Horticulture magazine suggests a tote for "real" gardeners, and it's not $168. It's a wheeled garden tool caddy from Smith & Hawken that looks practical and sturdy. "This handy, two-wheeled caddy adds ease to transporting larger tools, like long-handle spades and rakes, from shed to garden and back again. It also hauls away weeds by the bucketful. It has a tubular steel main frame, rubber tires, plastic bucket and it's easy to store." It's $69 and can be found at www.smithandhawken.com.
Gifts, gifts and more gifts
Following a recent birthday, someone asked me what wonderful gifts I received from my husband. (Remember, this is the man who gave me a chain saw.) Well, this year, he outdid himself. Diamonds? No. I received three truckloads of mulch!
If that weren't romantic enough, he also splurged for a plumber to repair several leaky hose bibs so I won't have to drag hoses all over this year! My new best friend, Travis at Plum-Rite, explained that our hose bibs probably froze because they were installed tilting up, so all of the water didn't drain out of them at the end of the season. I've always been careful to disconnect the hoses in the fall, but they still froze. So if you're building a home, be sure to check the "freeze-less" hose bibs to be sure they totally drain!
Sara Busse is a Charleston resident and master gardener. She may be contacted at sjbu...@gmail.com.