Favorite or New Plant
Autumn Blaze Maple
Near my home is a silver maple (Acer saccharinum) that my mother planted in 1943. Once a magnificent, large tree shading my home, it is now deteriorating, as all silver maples are wont to do. Although I enjoyed the shade from it, I am less than happy with it's brittle limbs, surface roots, and tremendous numbers of seeds. In looking for a tree to replace it, I finally settled on an Autumn Blaze maple (Acer x freemanii), a hybrid of silver maple and red maple (Acer rubrum). It's difficult to find all the pros and cons of a plant, but, with some reservation, I think this will be a good choice. It supposedly grows quickly, like the silver maple. Whether this means it will be as brittle as the silver maple, only time will tell. The good news is that it does not produce as many seeds, plus it has the most remarkably brilliant red-orange fall color, as opposed to the dull yellow-tan of the silver maple. I'm looking forward to many years of sheltering shade and gorgeous fall color.
Tool or Gardening Product
Oh, how idyllic it would be to think that all garden chores are done by the time temperatures turn cold! Still, it's great to be outside, even on a chilly day as long we're dressed warmly. But those summer gardening gloves just don't cut it anymore. Now it's time to switch to winter gardening gloves. The ones that I turn to are West County Waterproof Gloves, insulated with a brushed thermal nylon for warmth without weight. Sandwiched between this inner layer and an outer layer of stretch nylon is a waterproof breathable material that lets sweat escape but keeps water out. The neoprene cuff keeps out dirt and cold air, while the palm is lightly padded and the fingertips are reinforced. The gloves are sized for both men and women and are available in four colors. For more information, visit http://www.westcountygardener.com/glove-waterproof.php.