Garden Club: Tools Of The Trade & Other Tips
Tools of the Trade
The Arthritis Society recognizes Fiskars PowerGear products for maximizing leverage to reduce muscle effort and joint strain. New for 2012 are hedge shears featuring lightweight reinforced fibreglass handles to further ease fatigue. $40, The Home Depot.
The Troy-Bilt garden spade offers stability with sturdy construction, featuring a large handle with ergonomic grip and heavy-duty blade with oversized turned step for added control. $32, Canadian Tire.
The handy ratchet motion of Garant’s weeder allows you to snatch pesky weeds right down to the root from any soil type and easily discard them with a slide of the handle – no stooping required! $40, at home improvement retailers across Canada
Plant by Colours
It’s not quite paint by numbers, but the PlantSwatch combines a clever fan-out reference for 230 plants arranged by foliage or flower colour, plus basic gardening definitions, a Plant Hardiness Zone classification, optimal sun, soil and water requirements as well as each plant’s height, spread and season. Use this compact guide as a tool to maintain your garden and, unlike comparable plant tomes, you can easily take it along to the garden centre. $20, Lee Valley Tools or www.plant swatch.com —Tara Losinski
Marjorie Harris’s annual pick
Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’
This is, bar none, the best annual for in ground or in containers on balconies. How it shows Bright purplish-blue flowers over abundant green-silver foliage provides a cool, calming effect in the garden.
Loblaw’s Peter Cantley’s annual pick
PC Honey Bee Petunia, a Canadian exclusive
Last year’s Black Velvet Petunia inspired breeders to have fun with dramatic darker tones.
How it shows